The Big Ten had two fantastic games on the docket on Thursday, with the highlight being a matchup between Maryland and Purdue. Fans also got to enjoy an intriguing late game between Iowa and Ohio State.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-Maryland Terrapins 68, No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers 54
We only get so many “special” games during a college basketball season, let alone during a Big Ten season. However, fans got to enjoy one of those games on Thursday night as Maryland hosted Purdue in a crucial late season matchup. Most had circled it for weeks as a potential upset opportunity.
Fortunately for Terp fans, that’s exactly how it played out.
While the game was competitive in the first half, Maryland broke Purdue in the second half and cruised to a 14-point win over the Boilermakers. Jahmir Young led the way for the Terps with 20 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Maryland also held Purdue’s vaunted offense to an underwhelming 0.92 points per possession.
And here’s what happened after the final buzzer:
The win will certainly be fondly remembered for Terp fans, as it pushed the team to 18-8 overall and 9-6 in Big Ten play. The win also gives Maryland a huge resume boost heading into this year’s NCAA Tournament. It will mark the program’s return to the Big Dance after the disastrous 2021-’22 season and could be the program’s highest seed since 2016. Obviously, fans have to be thrilled with that potential.
For Purdue, there are two ways to view this loss. On the one hand, it’s the latest in a recent downward trend as the Boilermakers have now lost three of the team’s last four games. This one was also particularly rough, as it’s Purdue’s first loss of the season by double-digits. Those aren’t stats you want to hear if you’re a Boilermaker fan.
However, it’s extraordinarily rare for a team to make it this deep into a season without a loss like this. Frankly, that’s quite a statement about Purdue’s performance to date. Moreover, Purdue’s recent rough patch probably has more to do with its schedule than performance, as all three losses came against quality competition on the road. It was just sheer luck the three games landed in a two-week stretch. Odds are Purdue will be just fine.
Maryland will hope to build on this win with a tricky Nebraska squad on the road on Sunday. Purdue will try and rebound from the loss on Sunday at home against Ohio State.
-Iowa Hawkeyes 91, Ohio State Buckeyes 75
Over the last six weeks, Ohio State has been absolutely abysmal. The Buckeyes entered Thursday night’s game having gone 1-11 in the team’s previous 12 games. The meltdown derailed what was once a promising season for the Buckeyes. However, the one saving grace was that the lone win of the 12 games came against the Hawkeyes. In short, the one thing Buckeye fans could depend on was the team’s play against Iowa.
Unfortunately, that didn’t hold up on Thursday night.
Ohio State not only lost to Iowa, but did it by double-digits in a game that went sideways by halftime. Iowa’s offense shredded Ohio State’s defense as Tony Perkins went on to finish with 24 points on the night. Kris Murray also had 20 points. The win pushed Iowa to 17-9 overall and 9-6 in Big Ten play. Ohio State fell to 11-15 overall and 3-12 in Big Ten play.
Iowa will return to action on the road against Northwestern on Sunday. Ohio State gets Purdue on the road on Sunday next.