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.
Find out more about: Impact the World
Give Rodney Williams an inch anywhere near the rim, and he’ll make you look silly. The Minnesota junior has springs in his shoes, something Iowa witnessed in the second half of Wednesday night’s game at Williams Arena. On this particular play, Williams turned a Julian Welch missed 3-pointer into a gem of a highlight. The Hawkeyes forgot to account for Williams on the glass, somehow, and he made them pay with a powerful putback of the errant shot. And Williams hung on the rim for style — and to avoid landing on Zach McCabe, we suppose. Watch the play now.
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.
Find out more about: Hoops Rapid Recaps
Wisconsin and Michigan State squared off last night in a game that will not help the Big Ten’s national image. Via a combination of slow pace, good defense, and missed shots that both teams would normally make, the Spartans and Badgers labored for points. It took Michigan State over 13 minutes of game time to break into double digits–and even then they were only down two points. Wisconsin’s shooting nightmare that began against Iowa persisted, and it truly looked like the first team to 50 would win.
One week of Big Ten play in the books, it’s time to release my latest Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands right now and who would win on a neutral court. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below. See Brent’s rankings in this post.