Did you hear the Big Ten Geeks are back with BTN.com for another year? Our hoops bloggers have hit the ground running. Check out their Big Ten season previews, which are going in reverse order of expected finish, and see their early Big Ten thoughts. You can follow the Geeks on Twitter @bigtengeeks. Watch our interview with Wisconsin star point guard Jordan Taylor now and jump in this post for recaps of all three games.
FINAL: Verdell Jones III scored 17 points and shot 5-of-7 from the field to lead five Indiana players in double figures as the Hoosiers topped Evansville 94-73 on Wednesday at Ford Center in Evansville. To go with Jones III’s efforts, Christian Watford scored 15 points, Jordan Hulls chipped in 15 points, Cody Zeller scored 14 points, and Will Sheehey chipped in 10 points. The Hoosiers hit 56 percent of their field goals (33-of-59). Indiana was hot from long range, hitting 11 threes and shooting 52 percent from beyond the arc. Colt Ryan contributed 17 points for the Aces in the loss. Denver Holmes shot 5-of-8 from the field and scored 13 points for Evansville. The Aces were hot from long range, hitting seven threes and shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc. Evansville attempted 27 free throws and made 18. In addition to Ryan’s performance and Holmes’ stellar play, Kenneth Harris scored 17 points. The Hoosiers never trailed. Indiana’s largest lead was 33, which came in the middle of the second half. The Hoosiers led 31-23 in the half before they widened the margin to 26 points with a 20-2 run that ended late in the first half. Jones III capped the run off with a free throw that helped the Hoosiers lead 51-27 at the half.
HALFTIME: A strong offense has carried Indiana to a 51-27 lead over Evansville after 20 minutes. The Hoosiers led from the start and led by as many as 26 points. Leading 31-23, Indiana went on an 11-0 run to open up a 42-23 advantage. The Aces fired often and fired with accuracy from distance, hitting 43 percent (3-of-7) of their three-point attempts. Evansville’s leading scorer, Colt Ryan, has been shut down thus far. Sitting with four points, he is far below his usual level of production. Kenneth Harris has played well thus far for the Aces with 11 points. Cody Zeller has been the best player on the court for the Hoosiers thus far with 11 points.
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FINAL: Tim Frazier scored 26 points to lift Penn State to a 77-68 win over Long Island on Wednesday at Bryce Jordan Center in University Park. Momentum seesawed frequently as the teams traded the lead 11 times. A 12-2 run allowed the Nittany Lions to take a six-point lead early in the game. Sasa Borovnjak finished off the run with a field goal and propelled the Nittany Lions to a 36-36 lead at intermission. Along with Frazier’s work, Cammeron Woodyard racked up 15 points. Michael Culpo tallied 15 points for the Blackbirds in the loss. C.J. Garner was 4-of-7 from the floor and chipped in 11 points for Long Island. The Blackbirds struggled from the floor, shooting 36 percent (17-of-47). Long Island shot 77 percent from the charity stripe and made 27 free throws. Besides Culpo’s production and Garner’s stellar play, Julian Boyd scored 15 points and Gerell Martin scored 13 points.
HALFTIME: Penn State and Long Island go into the half even at 36, despite a strong first half from Tim Frazier. Jamal Olasewere, the leading scorer this season for the Blackbirds, has not made much of an impact through the first 20 minutes. He enters halftime with three points. Frazier has been the best player on the court for the Nittany Lions thus far, with 12 points. Long Island’s Julian Boyd had a big first half, with nine points.
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FINAL: Wisconsin dominated Colgate en route to a 68-41 victory on Wednesday at Kohl Center in Madison. Even in defeat, John Brandenburg came through for the Raiders with 11 points, six rebounds, and 5-of-5 shooting from the field. Ben Brust sparked the Badgers as he scored 17 points and went 6-of-11 from the field in the win. Wisconsin was effective from three-point range during the game, making 10 and shooting 43 percent. Colgate had trouble finding its shooting touch, shooting just 34 percent (16-of-47) from the field. Winning the battle on the boards was crucial for the Badgers as they grabbed 38 rebounds to 26 for the Raiders. Wisconsin never trailed. The Badgers’ largest lead was 29, which came with 7:26 remaining. Leading 26-14 in the half, Wisconsin used a 16-2 spurt to open its cushion to 26 points late in the first half. Jordan Taylor finished the run off with a field goal, which helped Wisconsin lead 42-20 at halftime.
HALFTIME: Colgate has proven to be no match for Wisconsin as the Badgers leads 42-20 at the half. Both sides have been forced to look for offense in other places as their leading scorers have been shut down. Neither Wisconsin’s Josh Gasser nor the Raiders’ Mike Venezia have been able to get going. Gasser has zero points and Venezia has scored four. The Badgers never trailed in the first half and led by as many as 26 points. Wisconsin was leading 34-16 when it used an 8-0 spurt to widen its advantage to 42-16. The Badgers fired often and fired with accuracy from distance, hitting 57 percent (8-of-14) of their three-point attempts. Colgate has been able to make the most of its good looks from long range, hitting at a 50 percent clip (2-of-4). The Raiders did a good job of distributing the ball with five assists on eight field goals in the first half. Ben Brust has been the best player on the court for Wisconsin thus far with 13 points. Mitch Rolls played well in the first half for Colgate with six points.
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