Illinois picked up a much needed victory at Northwestern, but they sure didn’t make it easy on themselves. The Wildcats came out executing their offense to the tune of 1.13 points per possession in the first half, a very solid showing against a good Illini defense. John Shurna was at the forefront of the attack, putting up 17 first half points. Northwestern built a double digit lead before a late Illinois run made it closer at the half.
KK Houser scored 17 points to help No. 18 Purdue beat Wisconsin 63-52 on Thursday night. Wisconsin’s Taylor Wurtz, who entered the game averaging 16.1 points per game, was held scoreless on 0-for-10 shooting. And the Badgers had won three straight against Purdue and swept the Boilermakers last season. Watch the highlights now and follow the other women’s games on our scoreboard. Read the full Purdue/Wisconsin AP recap here.
CHICAGO – BTN will debut a powerful new original series called Impact the World, which shifts the focus from the playing field to the world stage, where Big Ten universities continue to make their presence known. Impact debuts at 9:30 PM ET Tuesday, Jan. 10, and will air weekly through the winter.
It’s no secret that Illinois’ Meyers Leonard is blessed with a lot of athleticism. The 7-foot-1 big man moves and leaps unlike most guys his size, and he displayed it once again Wednesday at Northwestern. Late in the first half – a frustrating one for Leonard and the Illini – the breakout sophomore jumped out of the gym on a one-handed slam. Look at how high he got up there. And listen to that rim rattle! As BTN color commentator Shon Morris put it: “I think that rim is going to file assault charges.” Watch the dunk now and see his game-sealing block in this post.
That was exciting! The season’s first BTN Super Wednesday doubleheader, presented by Buffalo Wild Wings, came down to the final second in both games. In the first one, Meyers Leonard swatted away a shot to seal Illinois’ win over Northwestern (recap). And in the nightcap, Iowa denied Minnesota on the final possession (recap). Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and view our Super Wednesday schedule.
The Big Ten already has seen two top underclassmen officially declare for the draft: Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus and Iowa OT Riley Reiff. And one report has Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy bolting (read the report), while many speculate that Wisconsin RB Montee Ball will opt for the NFL, too.