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1/7 Big Ten Recap: Northwestern Knocks Off Michigan State

Recap all the Big Ten action from Sunday.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

There were three games today in the Big Ten with the home team taking care of business in all three games. Let’s take a look at what happened throughout the day.

Game of the Night

Northwestern Wildcats 88 Michigan State Spartans 74

In the late game Northwestern took advantage of a hot close to the first half to take care of business against the Spartans. With the game tied at 26, the Wildcats ended the first half on a 20-5 run that gave them a 15 point lead heading into the break.

Michigan State kept pace with the Wildcats in the second half but could never cut the deficit back down after Northwestern opened a sizable lead. The Wildcats saw all five starters reach double figures, led by Ty Berry’s 22 points. Boo Buie had a big performance as well, scoring 19 points and adding 10 assists. Northwestern shot 54.2% from the field and committed only 5 turnovers.

The Spartans offense once again ran through Tyson Walker, who scored 27 points on 10 of 18 shooting. Hoggard and Akins added 13 points apiece, but there was little production from the starting frontcourt and Michigan State also committed 13 turnovers. At the end of the day the Spartans inability to make stops down the stretch cost them any chance of picking up a win on the road.

The loss derails a five game winning streak and drops Michigan State to 1-3 in league play. That could prove problematic with a road trip to Illinois on deck for Thursday. Northwestern has three of their next four games on the road, with a trip to Penn State on Wednesday up next.

The Rest

Penn State Nittany Lions 79 Michigan Wolverines 73

The first game of the day got off to a weird start shortly before tip when it was announced that Juwan Howard would be handing off head coaching duties for the day to assistant coach Phil Martelli due to his ties to the Philly area and today’s game taking place at the Palestra. While possibly a kind gesture, the Wolverines were in desperate need of a road win after a rough start to the season and the head coach announcing day of he would pass off said coaching duties is not only a bad look for the program, but more or less backs the idea that everyone knows Howard is likely on his way out after the year barring a miraculous turn around.

For a half the move more or less worked, with the Wolverines taking a 37-27 lead into the break thanks to a slow offensive start for the Nittany Lions. Penn State got things up and running in the second half on their way to a 52 point second half performance and didn’t give up the lead once they pulled ahead on a D’Marco Dunn three with 11:36 to go. Michigan looked incredibly sloppy, committing 19 turnovers on the day, and Penn State’s 23-6 advantage on points off turnovers proved to be the deciding factor.

Minnesota Golden Gophers 65 Maryland Terrapins 62

The second game of the day had a somewhat similar outcome to the first game, with the road team taking a lead into the break only for the home team to finally get things rolling offensively in the second half. Here we had an absolutely dreadful Minnesota first half for 22 points followed by scoring 43 in the second half. Maryland had a few big runs in the first but struggled offensively and had an extended drought, not letting them take advantage of the slow Gopher start to the game.

While Maryland ultimately got to 62 points, a lot of that stemmed from 12 points in the final two minutes when the pace sped up. Leading scorer Jahmir Young had 20 points, but shot 5 of 17 from the field. Julian Reese and Donta Scott were more effective, shooting 11 of 20 from the field, but that doesn’t help when Young shot more than a third of the shots. A dreadful Maryland offense shot 38% from the field, 33.3% from three and committed 17 turnovers.

Minnesota didn’t set the world on fire, but four players scored 10-12 points, the team shot a slightly better 40.7% from the field and more importantly, committed 7 less turnovers (giving them 9 more field goal attempts than the Terps).