Tom Crean and Indiana honored referee Ed Hightower in the closing moments of the team’s convincing 105-59 win over Samford on Friday night. Hightower, the longtime and high-profile Big Ten ref, was officiating his final game at Assembly Hall. Watch Crean and the Hoosiers honor Hightower in this post.
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Week 12 of the Big Ten football season is here. Can you believe it? Here is a rundown of the upcoming games on Saturday and a recap of this week’s news leading up to the big weekend ahead.
Two of the Big Ten’s top teams were in action Friday night, and there were plenty of highlights for both Indiana and Michigan State. Yogi Ferrell poured in a game-high 26 points and Noah Vonleh added another double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds as the Hoosiers cruised to a 105-59 victory over Samford. In the nightcap, Adreian Payne had 26 points and 11 rebounds as Michigan State edged out a 62-53 win over Columbia.
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The Big Ten suffered its first losses over the past couple nights, and we learned just a little bit more about the shape of this conference. Let’s dive in. In a formula that might become common this season, Illinois struggled to score over Valparaiso’s length but did enough on defense to secure the victory. After facing two decidedly smaller teams to open the season, Illinois had trouble converting over Valpo’s big and experienced frontline. In fact, the Illini’s 35.6 effective field goal percentage is the lowest mark of the John Groce era, and last season’s team wasn’t exactly a collection of sharpshooters.
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Iowa had seven different players score in double-digits, led by Aaron White’s game-high 22 points, and the Hawkeyes cruised to a 109-63 win over Maryland-Eastern Shore on Thursday night.
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Both Illinois and Purdue notched impressive early season wins Wednesday night. Purdue blew out Central Connecticut 109-73, while Illinois edged out Valparaiso, 64-52. In the third Big Ten game of the evening, Penn State fell to Bucknell, 80-90. Get game recaps, stats and video highlights from all three games in this post.