Buckeyes and Boilers take care of homecourts
|Ohio State 65 Michigan 55|
What ESPN is calling "Rivalry Week" kicked off last night for the Big Ten with the basketball version of the Michigan-Ohio State rivalry. Some may think the football rivalry has been a bit one-sided recently, but the Buckeyes have absolutely owned Michigan in basketball. Counting last nights win, Ohio State has now won seven straight over the Wolverines; Michigan's last win over OSU was in 2004.
The Wolverines actually led this game at halftime 32-31 and stayed close throughout, trailing by 4 with two minutes to play. Michigan's offense was relatively efficient, for Michigan standards, against the Buckeyes averaging 1.01 points per possession. Most of the damage was done from the outside as the Wolverines shot 9 for 26 from three-point range, scoring nearly half of their points from behind the arc. In the end, Michigan came up just short on the offensive end and especially from the free throw line. The Wolverines shot just 7 free throws on the night, making 6 of them.
Ohio State seemed to get their offense back on track after the weekends loss at Iowa. The Buckeyes offense scored 1.08 points per possession in last nights victory. OSU shot 7 of 16 (44%) from three-point range to complement a strong game from Othella Hunter in the inside. Hunter scored an efficient 15 points on 7 of 11 shooting and also pulled down 12 rebounds to complete his double-double. The Buckeye defense also stiffened up when needed holding Michigan to zero field goals in the final four minutes of the game.
Up next for Ohio State is a huge showdown with Indiana in Columbus on Sunday. The Wolverines play next when they host Penn State on Saturday.
Purdue 67 Penn State 53
Purdue had three starters score in double figures and continued their defensive domninance in a 14 point win over Penn State in West Lafayette last night. Robbie Hummel led the Boilers with 17 points on 6 of 9 shooting, and E'Twaun Moore threw in 16 on 4 of 6 shooting (6-6 free throws) to lead a Purdue offense that scored an impressive 1.16 points per possesion as a team.
Purdue also excelled on the defensive end of the court holding Penn State to only 0.87 points per possession. The Nittany Lions were hurt by turnovers and poor free throw shooting in this loss as Penn State only converted on 5 of their 14 free throws as a team. This game could have easily been a much larger Purdue victory if not for the Lions high percentage from three-point range. Penn State shot 53% (8-15) from long range in the loss with Mike Walker pouring in 4 of 6 three's off the bench. The Boilermaker defense has been one of the best in conference all season in forcing turnovers and last night was no exception. Purdue forced Penn State into 18 turnovers in a 60 possession game; that's turning the Lions over on 29.7% of their possesions.
Purdue improved to 9-1 in Big Ten play and currently sits atop the standings with Wisconsin playing tonight. The Boilermakers next game is Saturday against the Badgers in Madison. Penn State travles to Ann Arbor to face Michigan on Saturday.
Struggling Minnesota travels to Evanston to face winless Northwestern. The Gophers have dropped 4 of their last 5, while the Wildcast haven't won a Big Ten game in almost a calender year (last win vs Penn St - Feb 10th, 2007).
Iowa tries to make it back-to-back upset wins at home as they face conference front-runner Wisconsin. The Hawkeyes beat Ohio State on Saturday and have won two straight at home. The Badger's lone conference loss came at Purdue on January 26th.