(AP) Brandon Paul scored a breakaway dunk that put Illinois ahead in double overtime Tuesday night and Meyers Leonard hit the layup that sealed the 81-72 victory over Minnesota. Paul swiped the ball from Ralph Sampson III for the dunk that gave the Illini (12-2, 1-0 Big Ten) a three-point cushion at 73-70. Leonard’s layup with 1:11 left made it 78-72 and finished the Golden Gophers (12-2, 0-1). Paul finished with 21 points. Leonard had 20 and a game-high 11 rebounds for his third straight double-double. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and view our Big Ten scoreboard.
Week 16 of the NFL season is in the books, and Big Ten products compiled impressive numbers. All season long, use our Big Ten NFL Stat Tracker to see how ex-Big Ten stars perform. Simply click on a player’s name, and the link will lead you to his NFL.com game log. Every Tuesday, Brent Yarina singles out the best offensive, defensive and special teams performances, plus links to their NFL.com highlights. See Brent’s Week 16 winners in this post.
Wednesday’s and Thursday’s games marked the end of non-conference play for many Big Ten members. With the holiday break looming, let’s run down who has been naughty and nice.
No. 2 Ohio State drilled Miami (OH) (recap) and No. 19 Michigan put away Bradley (recap) in a BTN doubleheader Thursday night. In other action, No. 20 Michigan State dropped pesky Lehigh (recap), No. 24 Illinois lost to Missouri (recap), Iowa topped Boise State (recap), Minnesota held off North Dakota State (recap), Northwestern fell at Creighton (recap) and No. 18 Indiana flattened UMBC (recap). Catch up on all the action on our Big Ten scoreboard and get stats, recaps and video in this post.
High school recruits can’t sign letters of intent until Feb. 1. But junior college recruits who plan to enroll in January so they can take part in spring drills were able to sign Dec. 21. Minnesota and Indiana—the two Big Ten teams not to make a bowl this season–led the way among Big Ten schools with each signing five players this week who will take part in spring drills.