Big Ten Day 2 Nightcap

Big Ten Nightcap

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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.

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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.

 

Melo Guides The Terps Past Rutgers 67-55

Melo Guides The Terps Past Rutgers 67-55

 

 

College Park, MD – Melo Trimble led Maryland past Rutgers 67-55. Melo had been battling a sickness the previous few days before this contest. Quite honestly, it was hard to tell. Melo looked like his normal and steady self. He made some timely shots and was the veteran presence the Terps (18-2, 6-1) needed to pull away in the second half. Rutgers (12-9, 1-7) showed great toughness. They guarded hard all night and forced the Terps into many ugly turnovers, 18 to be exact. Rutgers had a tough time getting into any offensive flow. They really struggled from the foul line going just 10-24. If Rutgers could have made just even a handful more free throws, this game could have gotten interesting. Coach Steve Pikiell has his team doing all the right things to succeed in time. Once more talent comes through, Rutgers should compete in the middle of the pack of the Big Ten.

 

Melo Trimble proved that no matter the circumstances he is a leader on the court for Maryland. Coach Mark Turgeon said he had no idea how Trimble would feel, because the day before he looked terrible. Sickness does not always stop a player from playing at a high level. Some players rise through it and play at a high level, that is exactly what Melo did. Melo finished with a game high of 17 points, 3 three-pointers, six rebounds, four assists and five turnovers. The other main contributor for the Terps was Kevin Huerter. The freshman guard continues to show that he has a tremendous feel for the game. He see’s the passing lanes like few players do. Many times he passes the ball to open teammates and they have no clue it’s coming because they don’t even realize they are open. Huerter impacts the game for the Terps in so many ways. He defends at a high level, and helped limit Corey Sanders to 15 points, on 5-19 shooting. Huerter is a very solid rebounder as well. Despite not being the biggest or most physical presence (6’7 190) he led the team in rebounds with eight. Huerter has such a versatile skill set and is destined to be a solid contributor for the Terps for many years to come, as long as he stays in college. Huerter finished with eleven points, eight rebounds and six assists.

 

Another contributor for the Terps was Damonte Dodd. Dodd had eight points, five rebounds and three blocks.

 

The guard play for Rutgers is what fuels them. They rely way too much on sophomore guard Corey Sanders (6’2 181) and junior guard Nigel Johnson (6’1 186). Sanders is a very explosive scoring guard. He struggles with his outside shot and shooting jumpers in general. He is much more comfortable attacking off the dribble or off of the pick and roll. He turns the corner hard in pick and roll, and has great leaping ability allowing him to rise over defenders or perform acrobatic lay-ins. Sanders struggled shooting in this game, but a lot of that may be due to the fact that his team has only one other scoring option, Nigel Johnson. Sanders was shadowed by Huerter in the second half and that is when he became really limited on offense. Sanders finished with 15 points, three rebounds and three assists.

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Sanders back-court mate Nigel Johnson had a decent impact on offense as well as defense. He compliments Sanders well and if they had more teammates that could run and gun that may suit their team better. Johnson is not the best shooter. Like Sanders he thrives when he gets into the lane. He has a crafty floater and understands when to get all the way to the rim. Johnson is a solid on ball defender. He has great quickness and his active hands bother players with a suspect handle. Johnson posted 14 points, two three-pointers, four rebounds and two steals on the night.

 

Maryland continues to surprise many and probably even themselves with their hot start. This matched their best start ever, back when Steve Francis was their star guard in 1998-1999. Maryland at 18-2 and 6-1 in the Big 10, has officially put the conference and the rest of the country on notice.

 

Rutgers continues to struggle in conference play. They lack the skill players and veteran leadership needed to compete in a high-major conference like the Big 10. The effort and commitment to defense is definitely there though.

 

Up next for Rutgers is a home game vs Wisconsin on Saturday.

Up next for Maryland is @ Minnesota on Saturday.