Men’s Basketball Around the Big Ten: Week Ten
Zach Kaplan, Will Desautelle, Brian McLaughlin and Dylan Huberman break down the week ten matchups around the conference.
The Big Ten has had a slew of great games this week after a pretty solid showing in conference play last weekend.
To start with the home team, Penn State lost in excruciating fashion to Indiana on Wednesday, 78-75. Both teams shot themselves in the foot throughout the game leading to a close finish. Indiana had countless bad possessions giving the Nittany Lions life, and the Nittany Lions missed free throws that a winning team just can’t miss.
The guard play was fairly even with James Blackmon and Robert Johnson of Indiana scoring 17 points each, while Shep Garner totaled 15 points and Tony Carr scored 24 points.
Where Indiana thrived all game was on the block. Just simply outmuscling the Nittany Lions on their way to a 37-33 rebound advantage, with 24 of those being on the defensive end.
Penn State was down by seven with over a minute left and battled back to tie the game with it looking like overtime was imminent.
James Blackmon of Indiana brought the ball up the court with 4.6 seconds left and knocked down a dagger of a 3-pointer as time expired. Penn State takes on powerhouse Purdue next, and Indiana takes on Michigan State.
The Penn State-Indiana game was followed up with another nail biter in Ohio State and Nebraska. Nebraska used the home crowd to its advantage, taking an eight-point lead into halftime.
Ohio State battled back in the second half behind Forward Marc Loving, who netted the game winning basket with under a second to play, giving the Buckeyes a 67-66 win. Ohio State takes on Northwestern next, while Nebraska looks to get a rebound win over Rutgers.
A pair of other games in the Big Ten wrapped up this week’s slate of conference play. Purdue absolutely slaughtered Illinois on Tuesday, 91-68. Caleb Swanigan proved to be just too much and Illinois was never really in the game. Purdue takes on the aforementioned Nittany Lions next, and Illinois takes on Michigan with both teams at 12 wins.
The final game was between Michigan and Wisconsin on Tuesday. Wisconsin came into the game as the 17th ranked team in the nation, but they fought a surprisingly close battle at home against the unranked Wolverines.
The teams battled back and forth in the second half, trading the lead throughout. Michigan did a great job at containing Wisconsin star Nigel Hayes, only allowing him to score 13 points.
However, Wisconsin initiated a late second half surge sparked by a 3-pointer from senior Bronson Koenig. The push was just enough for the Badgers to hold off the Wolverines and squeak out a 68-64 win.
Another sighting in the Big Ten that may be something to watch for is Maryland. Maryland just cracked the top 25 this week as the polls final ranked team. However, the Terrapins have posted an impressive 16-2 record behind guard Melo Trimble.
Trimble, Maryland’s star, is a silent assassin, averaging 17.2 points per game and Maryland seems to follow the identity of their star player, quietly posting one of the nations’ best seasons that nobody is talking about.
Before the nation begins to ride the Terrapin train, know that they were spotted well in advance here in the Big Ten.
Ron Redden is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.