The Big Ten had four games on Wednesday night, highlighted by two conference games. Three of the four matchups proved to be pretty competitive and one went to overtime.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Maryland Terrapins 81, Penn State Nittany Lions 75 (OT)
Both these teams entered Wednesday amid turmoil. Maryland was coming off a tough loss to Indiana on Friday that dropped the team to 4-4 overall and the Nittany Lions had suffered one of the program’s worst recent losses over the weekend to Bucknell. That made Wednesday’s meeting all the more important.
The game itself was an absolute thrilled. Penn State jumped out to an early lead, but Maryland battled back after that. And the second half was a back-and-forth affair down to the final minutes. A few big buckets forced overtime, where Maryland got just enough to grab the win. Julian Reese and Jahmir Young led the way for the Terps, combining for 52 points in the win. Reese also had an impressive 15 rebounds.
Maryland improved to 5-4 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play with the win while Penn State fell to 4-5 overall and 0-1 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Terps will now hope to keep things rolling with Alcorn State at home on Tuesday. Penn State gets a few days off before hosting Ohio State on Saturday.
-Minnesota Golden Gophers 76, Nebraska Cornhuskers 65
This presented as a vital conference game for both sides. Minnesota was looking for its first quality win of the season while Nebraska was hoping to add its first Big Ten and road wins of the year. Early on, the Huskers looked in great shape to get the win. However, the team faded in the second half and Minnesota was able to grab a double-digit victory. Joshua Ola-Joseph led the way with 15 points and five rebounds. Braeden Carrington also had 13 points.
For Minnesota, fans have to be thrilled with this one. The Gophers looked dead to rights in the first half, but found a way to get the win. It pushed the team to 6-3 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play. However, more importantly, it kept Minnesota’s season alive, at least until the restart of league play in January. And that has to be viewed as a positive. Minnesota returns to action on Saturday at home against Florida Gulf Coast.
On the other side, Nebraska fell to 7-2 overall and 0-1 in Big Ten play with the loss. It’s a crushing one for the Huskers, as the team seemed poised to bounce back after falling short against Creighton last weekend. These are the games that will determine whether Nebraska can turn a fast start into something more and the team failed its first test. We’ll see if the Huskers can get back on track against Michigan State at home on Sunday.
-Ohio State Buckeyes 84, Miami (Ohio) Red Hawks 64
The Buckeyes cruised in this one, scoring a 20-point win at home. Roddy Gayle led the way with 15 points, four rebounds, and three assists. Bruce Thornton also had 14 points. The win pushed Ohio State to 8-1 overall and 1-0 in Big Ten play. The Buckeyes will return to action on Saturday on the road against Penn State. It’s the team’s first road game of the season.
-Wake Forest Demon Deacons 76, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 57
This was a tough one. While Rutgers was a modest underdog heading into tip, fans were hoping the team could push Wake Forest in this one. Unfortunately, the team’s offense underwhelmed yet again, finishing with a putrid 0.86 points per possession. The Scarlet Knights eventually fell short by 19 points, though it was closer until garbage time.
Rutgers fell to 5-3 overall and 0-1 in Big Ten play with the loss. It’s the team’s second straight loss, with both coming by nearly identical margins. Like a handful of other Big Ten teams, it’s starting to get late quickly for the Scarlet Knights. If the team is going to make a serious postseason push, it needs to start winning some of these games. Fans will hope that begins on Saturday on the road against rival Seton Hall.