The Big Ten had two games on Wednesday. The most notable was between Northwestern and Purdue in a rematch of a tremendous meeting in December. Penn State and Rutgers also met.
Let’s take a look at what happened.
Game of the Night:
-No. 2 Purdue Boilermakers 105, Northwestern Wildcats 96 (OT)
When these teams met in December, most expected Purdue to come out on top. The Boilermakers were a perfect 7-0 and coming off a tremendous non-conference tournament in Hawaii. And while the Wildcats had shown some things, the team was clearly a step back from Purdue. Of course, those predictions were thrown out the window when Northwestern figured out a way to take down Purdue in one of the biggest upsets of the year.
Since then, both teams have played pretty well and it set up an intriguing meeting on Wednesday. Purdue had a chance to get revenge for December and Northwestern had a chance to add a marquee road win to its resume. The game eventually went down to the wire, requiring overtime and come controversial calls to get Purdue across the finish line. Zach Edey led the way with 30 points and 15 rebounds. Braden Smith also had 11 points and 16 assists. Notably, Purdue shot 38 more free throws than Northwestern during the evening. This led to some dramatic moments with Chris Collins at the final buzzer.
Chris Collins gets ejected, a dramatic thriller:— Ben Stevens (@BenScottStevens) February 1, 2024
1. Runs onto the court during play
2. Gets right in ref’s face
3. Has to be held back
4. Screams “I’M GOOD!”
4. Still shakes Matt Painter’s hand
5. Daps up Zach Edey
6. Pumps up crowd as he exits
No notes. pic.twitter.com/edXFtNYTZl
Purdue improved to 20-2 overall and 9-2 in Big Ten play with the win. It was an emotional and hard fought game. Fans have to hope that doesn’t carry over moving forward, as the Boilers now prepare for a crucial road game against Wisconsin. The winner of that one will be the Big Ten favorite moving forward.
On the other side, Northwestern fell to 15-6 overall and 6-4 in Big Ten play with the loss. Given Purdue’s strength and the location, this won’t be much of a resume hit for the Wildcats. However, it could haunt fans as the teams tries to secure its NCAA bid in a bit of a “what if” for the team. Northwestern will return to action on Saturday on the road against Minnesota.
-Penn State Nittany Lions 61, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 46
The Scarlet Knights were favored heading into tip in this one and even led through roughly 10 minutes of play. However, Penn State then took control and never looked back. Neither team scored much, but Ace Baldwin’s 15 points was the difference. Rutgers finished with a horrific 0.68 points per possession.
Penn State improved to 10-11 overall and 4-6 in Big Ten play with the win while Rutgers fell to 10-10 overall and 2-7 in Big Ten play with the loss. The Nittany Lions will return to action on Saturday on the road against Indiana. Rutgers gets Michigan on the road on Saturday.