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1/28 Big Ten Recap: Purdue Avoids Upset

Recap all the Big Ten action from Sunday.

NCAA Basketball: Purdue at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten only had one game on Sunday. It put Purdue on the road against Rutgers in an intriguing road trip for the Boilermakers.

Let’s take a look at what happened.

Game of the Night:

-No. 2 Purdue Boilermakers 68, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 60

Over the last five years, this has been one of the better matchups in the Big Ten. Purdue has dominated the league for much of the time, with Rutgers being one of the only exceptions. The Scarlet Knights have had Purdue’s number, for whatever reason. It made many question whether Rutgers could replicate the magic on Sunday.

The game itself started with a nice run by Purdue, but was highly competitive afterward. Rutgers’ defense played pretty well and held a loaded Purdue offense to just 1.03 points per possession. However, Rutgers just didn’t have enough scoring to keep pace with Zach Edey. The big man finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Braden Smith also had 19 points and six rebounds.

Purdue improved to 19-2 overall and 8-2 in Big Ten play with the win. The Boilermakers are now a half game behind Wisconsin in the league standings, but now have a major opportunity to build their resume. The team gets Northwestern at home on Wednesday and Wisconsin on the road on Sunday. Two wins and Purdue would easily establish itself as the Big Ten favorite moving forward. It should be an exciting slate.

On the other side, Rutgers fell to 10-9 overall and 2-6 in Big Ten play with the loss. In many ways, this felt like a bit of a “last stand” for the Scarlet Knights. If the team could have scored an upset win here, perhaps things could have turned around. Unfortunately for Scarlet Knight fans, that wasn’t the case. Rutgers now finds itself well out of serious NCAA consideration and having lost three of its last four games. The Scarlet Knights are just 3-6 over the team’s last nine games. Rutgers will hope to bounce back at home against Penn State at home on Wednesday.