Big Ten Nightcap
Tenth seeded Indiana rolled over seventh seeded Iowa 95-73, thanks to a huge 52 point second half. Early on the game was competitive as Indiana only held on to a three point halftime lead 43-40. Indiana shot a scorching 68% from the field in the second half, including making six of eight from three. On the other hand it was not Iowa’s night. While they shot 45%, they could not overcome being outscored in the paint 46-32.
For Iowa two players were the only reason they kept the game respectable. Jordan Bohannon (6’0 182) and Cordell Pemsl (6’8 249) provided the only consistent and impactful play for the Hawkeyes on the night. Bohannon was hot from downtown and did a great job of setting his teammates up for baskets. The freshman point guard plays a fast but level headed pace and has a chance to be a solid leader for years to come. Bohannon finished with 24 points, ten assists and went six for eleven from three. Pemsl, a freshman power forward, provided a scoring punch from down low and some toughness that the rest of the Hawkeyes seemed to lack. The strong lefty was also a factor on the boards chipping in a game high eleven. Pemsl finished with 14 points and eleven rebounds. NBA draft prospect Peter Jok was a disappointment, as he never asserted himself in the game. Jok finished with nine points, on four of eleven from the field, with three rebounds and four turnovers.
James Blackmon Jr. (6’4 200) exploded with 18 second half points that led to Indiana’s route of Iowa. Blackmon was super efficient shooting on the night only missing two shots. Blackmon never forced the issue and showed that he has the ability to carry Indiana when healthy. The junior guard finished with 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists. NBA draft prospect Thomas Bryant (6’10 255) showed some versatility on defense, which should impress some scouts. Bryant played physical down low and displayed his high motor on the offensive end by running the floor regularly on breaks. Bryant has a chance to be a mid first round pick and has all the tools the NBA desires. He finished with eleven points, three assists and five blocks.
Iowa will now wait out there fait on Sunday during the selection show.
Indiana will play 2nd seeded Wisconsin tomorrow night.
Sixth seeded Northwestern had its way with fourteen seeded Rutgers from the get go and finished the route 83-61.
Northwestern spread the wealth on offense having four players score over 13 points. The Wildcats were led by Bryant McIntosh (6’3 185) and Vic Law (6’7 205). McIntosh captained the offense and kept the Wildcats in flow throughout the game. McIntosh Had 13 points and three assists, but his leadership of the offense was the most impressive impact he had on the game. Vic Law looked extremely fluid on offense and showed some versatility as well. Law is another NBA prospect in the making that is showcasing at the Big Ten tournament. He may not be on the radar this year but his future looks bright. Law had 16 points, on five of six shooting, with five rebounds and four assists.
For Rutgers the game wasn’t as pretty. Guards Nigel Johnson (6’1 186) and Corey Sanders (6’2 181) were the only source of offense for the Scarlet Knights. Without them on the floor Rutgers was not a threat to score. You could even argue if they didn’t have the ball in their hands there was no threat either. Sanders finished with 14 points and three assists. Johnson tallied 21 points and five made three-pointers.
Rutgers season will now come to an end, as they will not garner any post season birth with a 15-17 record.
Northwestern will take on 3rd seeded Maryland tomorrow night.