Men’s Basketball: Around the Big Ten Recap

Story posted February 2, 2016 in Sports, CommRadio by Ryan Leonardo

It was the final week of January for college basketball and Big Ten. That means that each game gets more important as the schedule flips into February. Conference losses are devastating, and with five teams ranked in the AP Top 25 this past week, nobody could afford to slip up.

That pressure was displayed fully in this week’s showdown between No. 3 Iowa and No. 8 Maryland. The Terrapins picked up a significant victory to keep their hopes of a high tournament seed intact. The Hawkeyes suffered their first loss within the Big Ten and ended their nine-game winning streak.

A complete look at the Big Ten’s updated standings:

No. 19 Indiana (8-1, 18-4)

Indiana stumbled to its first conference loss to Wisconsin, 82-79, in overtime, which saw its 12-game winning streak snapped. The Hoosiers followed the loss with a 74-68 at home against Minnesota. Freshman center Thomas Bryant led the way with 23 points for Indiana, helping fend off Minnesota’s late rally to avoid a backbreaking upset.

No. 3 Iowa (8-1, 17-4)

Iowa came up short in their big conference showdown with No. 8 Maryland, losing 74-68. Iowa’s Jarrod Uthoff came up small in defeat, totaling nine points on 2-for-13 shooting. Iowa bounced back, however, with a relatively easy victory over Northwestern. Peter Jok scored 22 points in the second half to help carry the Hawkeyes.

No. 8 Maryland (8-2, 19-3)

It was a good week for Maryland, as they topped No. 3 Iowa, finding a way to win despite shooting struggles in the second half. Robert Carter Jr. and Rasheed Sulaimon led the way for the Terrapins, notching 17 points apiece. Maryland also avoided an upset in Ohio State, defeating the Buckeyes 66-61. Sophomore guard Melo Trimble contributed 20 points to the winning effort.

Michigan (7-2, 17-5)

Michigan took care of business this week, getting by the struggling Rutgers and Penn State. Zak Irvin scored 20 points for the Wolverines in their victory over Penn State, which took place at Madison Square Garden. Michigan jumped out to a 38-26 advantage at halftime and held on for the 79-72 victory.

No. 21 Purdue (7-3, 19-4)

No. 21 Purdue was able to hold off Minnesota 68-64, despite the absence of freshman Caleb Swanigan. Vince Edwards stepped up to score 24 points in the victory. Against Nebraska, A.J. Hammons had a monster effort, scoring 32 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, leading Purdue to an 89-74 victory.

No. 12 Michigan State (6-4, 19-4)

The Spartans picked up a pair of 30-point victories over Northwestern and Rutgers. Michigan State totaled a combined 33 3-pointers in their two wins. Star Denzel Valentine made 11 3s on 18 attempts in the two games combined, a .611 mark.

Ohio State (6-4, 14-9)

Ohio State picked up victories over Penn State and Illinois before coming up short in an upset bid against Maryland. Keita Bates-Diop hit 4 of 7 three-pointers against Penn State as Ohio State won 66-46. The Buckeyes needed overtime to defeat Illinois, prevailing 68-63. Trevor Thompson led all Ohio State scorers with 16 points.

Wisconsin (5-4, 13-9)

Wisconsin upped their winning streak to four, including wins against Michigan State, Indiana and Sunday night’s defensive battle against Illinois. It has been a tumultuous season for the Badgers, but they have responded well lately to try and salvage it.

Nebraska (4-5, 12-10)

Nebraska came up small against Purdue, as the Huskers have followed up a four-game winning streak with a two-game skid. Andrew White led all Nebraska scorers with 18 points.

Northwestern (3-7, 15-8)

The Wildcats’ losing streak has reached five games after a blowout loss to Michigan State and a double-digit defeat against Iowa. All of the losses have come in conference play, as the season has slipped away for Northwestern.

Illinois (2-7, 10-12)

Penn State (2-7, 11-11)

Rutgers (0-9, 6-16)

Minnesota (0-10, 6-16)

Illinois, Penn State, Rutgers and Minnesota all went winless this week. Minnesota came up short in a couple of upset bids against Purdue and Indiana.

Ryan Leonardo is a junior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email jimmmzerx@yahoo.com.