There were a quartet of Big Ten women’s basketball games Sunday, highlighted by No. 10 Ohio State knocking off No. 19 and first-place Purdue, 80-71, at Value City Arena. In other action, No. 21 Penn State defeated Northwestern, Illinois nipped Indiana at the buzzer and Iowa took down Michigan State. Catch up on all four of the games on our BTN.com scoreboard and get stats, video and recaps in this post.
Not only was No. 12 Michigan State’s upset victory at No. 3 Ohio State huge for the Spartans (AP recap), but it did wonders to the Big Ten title race. Entering Saturday night’s contest at Value City Arena, where the Buckeyes hadn’t lost during the Jared Sullinger era, Ohio State had a chance to move two games ahead of the Spartans and the other legit Big Ten title contenders (Michigan and Wisconsin). That didn’t happen, of course, and now four teams are within one game of the top spot in the Big Ten.
Northwestern won its third consecutive Big Ten Match Play Championship on Saturday at The Concession Golf Club, defeating Minnesota 3-1-1 in the finals. Wins from Eric Chun, Jack Perry and Bennett Lavin pushed the seventh-seeded Wildcats to the win over the eighth-seeded Gophers and to their 14th win in 15 matches all-time at the Match Play Championship (see the final brackets!).
This past week on The Journey, presented by GMC, we looked at the legendary Indiana-Purdue rivalry with the Paint Crew and went behind the scenes of Draymond Green’s return from injury against rival Michigan. Also, we met the Minnesota natives on the Badgers as they went back home to Minneapolis and got to know Lenzelle Smith Jr., Ohio State’s jack of all trades. Right now, watch a clip on Green and Mateen Cleaves and see bonus clips in this post. And don’t forget to follow the Jouney on Twitter @BTNJourney.
Indiana made a living at the foul line in a chippy 13-point win over visiting Illinois. For about 30 minutes, this was a tight, back-and-forth game, with six lead changes and 14 ties. Over the final 10 minutes, however, the Hoosiers took advantage of the foul-riddled Illini to pull away. Indiana not only got to the foul line at an astounding rate; it also shot incredibly well from there, going 35 of 42 (83 percent). Paired with the Hoosiers’ customary accuracy from the field and a low turnover rate, it powered Indiana to a scorching 1.26 points per possession, the highest allowed by the Illinois defense all season.
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The calendar says February, and the sense of urgency builds for teams with NCAA dreams. Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Michigan and Indiana look like locks. But Illinois, Purdue, Minnesota and Northwestern? Work must be done down the home stretch.
Minnesota and Penn State clinched shares of the Big Ten wrestling regular season dual-meet title and each finished with a 7-1 record. Penn State’s seven wins are the most in school history. And Minnesota won its last dual season in 2007, when they also won the National Title. Watch now as BTN wrestling analysts Tim Johnson and Jim Gibbons offer a look back on the season. Additionally, BTN’s coverage of the Big Ten Wrestling Championships will be carried live at 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 4, from the campus of Purdue University.