The round-ballers of the Mitten State just keep at it, and it appears the road to the Big Ten title will make a pit stop in Michigan before heading on to Chicago.
#8 Michigan State Spartans 86, #14 Ohio State Buckeyes 77
Wha’ Happened: Cassius Winston dropped 25, and a pair of Nick Ward free throws gave Sparty the lead for good with 4:39 left in a back-and-forth affair. Kaleb Wesson kept OSU in it, with 25 points and 8 boards of his own.
James Snyder: Ohio State is good, Michigan State is gooder. If the Buckeyes get a reliable scorer, they can be gooder, too!
Jagiello the Great: Nick Ward finally harnessed his emotions playing @OSU. That, plus Cassius Winston’s smart orchestration ensuring MSU’s role players showed up on the road with Josh Langford still out, was enough to overcome a young but capable Buckeye squad. Big adjustment from what OSU presents offensively to the Carsen Edwards show, so we’ll see how MSU adjusts.
MSU: 13-2 (4-0 B1G), KP 4. Up next: vs. Purdue (tomorrow, 8pm)
OSU: 12-2 (2-1), KP 22. Up next: at Rutgers (Wed., 6pm)
Wha’ Happened: Maryland held the Scarlet Knights to 19 first-half points, and it was all over from there. Jalen Smith kicked in 16 points for the Terps, and once again Rutgers shot just 37% from the field and 28.6% from deep. Ho hum.
DJ Carver: Maryland started off slow against rutger, likely a product of Turgeon pulling Bruno Fernando after an early foul and giving Ivan Bender some run time that resulted in him getting stuffed at least twice, but once the usual lineups were back in play the first half went quickly.
Maryland finished the first half on a 33-6 run from 11:00 to go on and never looked back. They also received a surprise 11 points from freshman guard Serrel Smith, who has been quietly working his way into the lineup more and more as his defense has improved.
All in all, Maryland played much better against the rutger defense than I expected while getting solid contributions from the bench, so this was a great tuneup game heading into a tough slate against four ranked teams in five games.
MD: 12-3 (3-1), KP 28. Up next: at Minnesota (tomorrow, 6pm)
RU: 7-6 (0-3), KP 115. Up next: vs. OSU (Wed., 6pm)
Wha’ Happened: Ugly, back-and-forth basketball. Illinois committed approximately 15 SCVs, as Thump tells me they’re called, and after Dererk Pardon grabbed an offensive rebound, transfer F AJ Turner drilled a three with :10.5 to go, putting the ‘Cats ahead for good.
MNW: Once again, I’m demoralized after a win. It’s tough to analyze a lot of these objectively, because you have to keep in mind that Northwestern does not have a point guard and is just going to struggle to get into sets against teams that pressure the ball like Illinois does. But it has to fall to Chris Collins at some point to find a way around this.
Vic Law’s hot streak has cooled, as he was forcing shots and looks (along with 6 TOs)—because no one else could yesterday—but still managed a double-double. Ryan Taylor will gun, but he’s best relegated to that role. And Anthony Gaines...I don’t know where that performance has been, son, but keep rolling. Goddamn, that was a nice injection of energy off the bench.
As for Illinois...woof. They didn’t make a three. THEY WERE 0-11 FROM DEEP. I do not know what hope there is, save for riding Ayo Dosunmu and hoping someone in the supporting cast—not just backup C Adonis De La Rosa of all damn people, who had 12—can find their legs. It is ugly, scrambling basketball that...well, Underwood better start executing that vision soon.
NU: 10-5 (1-3), KP 51. Up next: vs. Iowa (Wed., 8pm)
IL: 4-11 (0-4), KP 106). Up next: vs. Michigan (Thurs., 7pm)
#2 Michigan Wolverines 74, #21 Indiana Hoosiers 63
Wha’ Happened: With the Hoosiers down De’Ron Davis and Rob Phinisee, Michigan’s depth and class showed—the Wolverines opened a 15-point lead at halftime and threatened to make it a blowout, but just cruised to an easy victory despite a poor night shooting from distance. Charles Matthews had 18 points to go with 4 steals for the Wolverines.
Candystripes for Breakfast: When both of your team’s stars get into foul trouble 4 minutes into the game, you tend not to win those games. Especially on the road. Particularly when on the road against the #2 team in the country.
Given all of that and the fact that Indiana is still sorely missing Rob Phinissee due to concussion symptoms, getting out of this game only losing by eleven isn’t too bad. Obviously, you never want to lose, but Indiana wasn’t completely blown out of the building either, so you just accept the L and move on.
IU: 12-3 (3-1), KP 27. Up next: at Maryland (Fri., 6pm)
MI: 15-0 (4-0), KP 5. Up next: at Illinois (Thurs., 7pm)
Wha’ Happened: Exactly what should happen from two of the best offenses in the country.
Nebraska pulled within one early in the second half with an Isaiah Copeland Jr. FT, but some timely scoring from Ryan Kriener (of all people!) and Jordan Bohannon (who had 25 points on 5/8 threes and 10/10 FTs) opened up juuuust enough of a cushion that the Hawkeyes could hold off their western rivals.
James Palmer Jr. played a heroic 39 minutes for the Huskers—but was 0/5 from deep and turned it over 5 times (he did have 20 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals)—but a 4/23 night from deep and a hungry Hawkeyes offensive rebounding crew (12 oreb for a 35% rate, compared to UNL’s 24%) doomed Nebraska.
Stewmonkey13: After a mostly back and forth first half Iowa was able to put a little buffer between them and UNL. That buffer was enough to cushion every UNL run and allow Iowa to build it back up.
A big reason Iowa was able to build that lead was Tyler Cook, and a limited Luka Garza coming back from an ankle injury, working inside and getting UNL into a lot of foul trouble. Add in Glynn Watson getting his fourth foul before the under 12 timeout in the second half. Was really impressed with Miles sticking with his guys despite the fouls mounting up, but he could only do that so much.
I’d also remiss to not mention that Bohannon had, by far, his best game of the season so far. His shot has just been a bit off, but he hit a buzzer beater 3 at the end of the first half for his first points of the game, and added 22 in the second half. Iowa doesn’t win this without him coming up huge.
*BRT:* It’s starting to look like how you fare against the Huskers depends entirely on whether you catch them at home or on the road. So far, this has not been a successful road team in conference play. Fouls were an issue, as was unusually poor three-point shooting. It still feels like this team is really close to turning a corner, so hopefully they can get things straightened out soon. Maybe PSU in Lincoln can get them back on track.
UNL: 11-4 (1-3), KP 16. Up next: vs. PSU (Thurs., 8pm)
IA: 12-3 (1-3), KP 43. Up next: at NU (Wed., 8pm)
#23 wisconsin badgers 71, Penn State Nittany Lions 52
Worth noting though, if you care (you don’t), that PSU coach Pat Chambers was suspended for this one. Lamar Stevens did his usual thing, with a shot-heavy 22 points, and Mike Watkins grabbed 10 boards but was off on offense (2/2 shooting, but 5 TOs).
beezer07: Wisconsin finally won after back-to-back embarrassing losses, winning a conference game on the road despite a terrible shooting night from its two best scorers. Happ managed to go 22/8 but he needed 24 shots to do it, including a 2-8 start to the game. After staring his season making an unsustainably high percentage of his 3s, D’Mitrik Trice is 5-23 from 3 in the last four games, including 2-9 against Penn State. Fortunately, Nate Reuvers is showing he’s grown a ton following his first season, Brad Davison can score mid-teens on occasion, and the bench can contribute when necessary.
Hopefully Happ and Trice’s shooting can pick back up over the next few games, as Wisconsin hosts Purdue and Michigan, with road game against Maryland sandwiched in between.
uw: 11-4 (3-1), KP 15. Up next: beez just told you.
PSU: 7-8 (0-4), KP 60. Up next: at UNL (Thurs., 8pm)
Most impressive win of the weekend?
This poll is closed
Michigan over gutted Indiana
Northwestern over hated rival Illinois
uw over the echo chamber
Iowa over ranked Nebraska
Just kidding, I know it’s MSU on the road at OSU