The Big Ten had three games on Wednesday and each came with considerable intrigue. The biggest matchup was likely Purdue’s road trip to face Maryland. It was a chance for the Terps to resurrect their season.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 1 Purdue Boilermakers 67, Maryland Terrapins 53
Heading into January, this was a game that had been building considerable hype. It put a top ranked Purdue squad on the road against a quietly hot Maryland team. Add in that the Terps upset the Boilers at home last season and things got really appetizing.
Unfortunately for Terp fans, that’s not exactly how things played out.
In the opening minutes, Purdue jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. The Boilermakers led by double-digits by the 10-minute mark and Maryland never got close enough to make it a game. Zach Edey led the way with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Braden Smith also had 14 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Jahmir Young led Maryland with 26 points. No other Terp scored double-digits.
Purdue improved to 13-1 overall and 2-1 in Big Ten play with the win and set itself up for a massive game against Illinois at home on Friday. Should the Boilermakers win that one, the team would be a runaway favorite to win the Big Ten title with a pretty manageable slate awaiting the next few weeks.
For Maryland, the team fell to 9-5 overall and 1-2 in Big Ten play with the loss. This was the team’s best chance to score a marquee win, at least for the foreseeable future. Letting it slip away is a major blow to Maryland’s already slim NCAA hopes. Maryland wouldn’t quite need a “miracle” to correct things yet, but things are getting tight. The Terps will hope to bounce back on Sunday on the road against Minnesota.
-No. 9 Illinois Fighting Illini 96, Northwestern Wildcats 66
With the Terrence Shannon news over the weekend, this projected as a tricky game for the Illini. No one was sure how the team would respond against a quality opponent. However, those concerns didn’t play out, at least on Tuesday night, as Illinois cruised to a 30-point win at home over rival Northwestern. Marcus Domask led the way with 32 points. Justin Harmon also had 20 points off the bench.
Illinois improved to 11-2 overall and 2-0 in Big Ten play with the win while Northwestern fell to 10-3 overall and 1-1 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Illini will now prepare for a massive road game against Purdue on Friday. Northwestern will try and rebound against Michigan state at home on Sunday.
-No. 21 Wisconsin Badgers 83, Iowa Hawkeyes 72
With the two other games going on, this one felt a little overlooked, but it ended up being a pretty fun one. Wisconsin controlled most of the evening thanks to 19 points and eight rebounds from Tyler Wahl. However, Iowa kept it close enough to make the Badgers work in the second half.
Wisconsin improved to 10-3 overall and 2-0 in Big Ten play with the win while Iowa fell to 8-6 overall and 0-3 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Badgers will hope to keep things rolling on Saturday at home against Nebraska. Iowa will try and get back on track against Rutgers at home on Saturday.