A roundup of Big Ten basketball action from this weekend, Saturday, Nov. 14, and Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.
The Illini trailed by as many as 14 in the second half but dominated the final 10 and a half minutes and staged a comeback to avoid the program’s first 0-2 start since the 1920s. Mike Thorne Jr. was excellent for the second straight game, scoring 21 points and grabbing a team-high eight rebounds. Malcolm Hill, Jalen Coleman-Lands and Maverick Morgan also scored in double figures as the Illini rebounded from that season-opening loss to North Florida.
Iowa 103, Coppin State 68
Going over 50 points in both the first and second half, the Hawkeyes poured in the points Sunday, shooting 55.6 percent from the field and hitting 12 3-pointers. Dom Uhl and Dale Jones combined for seven of those long balls, finishing with 18 and 16 points, respectively. But Brady Ellingson led all scorers with 20 points off the bench. As a team, the Hawkeyes handed out a whopping 31 assists on 40 made field goals.
Minnesota 67, Louisiana Monroe 56
Minnesota was actually outscored in the second half, and trailed at the end of a 16-4 Warhawks run midway through the final 20 minutes. But the Gophers followed that up with 11 straight points to pull away for the win. Joey King led the way with 20 points, nine of them coming from the free-throw line, where Minnesota was 20-for-22 on the day. Nate Mason and Kevin Dorsey also scored in double figures.
[MORE BIG TEN: Illini need second-half comeback, but rebound for win over NDSU]
Nebraska 97, Mississippi Valley State 51
After losing Terran Petteway this offseason, it was a wonder where the offense would come from for the Huskers. No worries Saturday, as Nebraska dropped nearly 100 on Mississippi Valley State. The Huskers shot 54.4 percent from the field and hit 10 3-pointers. Kansas transfer Andrew White led the way with 18 points in his first game as a Husker. Jack McVeigh, Shavon Shields and Nick Fuller also scored in double digits.
Ohio State 76, Mount St. Mary’s 54
Thad Matta got his 300th win at Ohio State as the Buckeyes rolled past the Mountaineers. Ohio State shot 50 percent from the field, led by the 21 points of Jae’Sean Tate. Marc Loving and Keita Bates-Diop both recorded double-doubles, Loving scoring 15 points and grabbing 11 rebounds and Bates-Diop scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. JaQuan Lyle and Daniel Giddens also scored in double figures.
Penn State 62, VMI 50
It wasn’t exactly a blowout, but Penn State started the season with a win. The Lions held the Keydets to just 50 points and 36.7-percent shooting. Three Penn State players scored in double figures: Shep Garner scored 15, Brandon Taylor scored 13 and Payton Banks had 12. Despite forcing 14 turnovers, the Lions had just four assists as a team and only hit on five of their 19 3-point attempts.
[SHOP BIG TEN: Get your Purdue gear right here]
The Boilermakers hit a school-record 18 3-pointers in a demolition of Vermont, scoring 60 first-half points and shooting 55.4 percent from the field. Dakota Mathias hit five, Vince Edwards had four and Kendall Stephens and Ryan Cline each had three. Mathias’ 17 points led the way for the Boilers, with Isaac Haas scoring 16. Caleb Swanigan got his second double-double in as many games, scoring 14 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
Rutgers 82, Howard 70
The Knights didn’t exactly dominate Sunday, but they did hold the visiting Bison to just 27 first-half points. Howard actually shot better than Rutgers, 43.6 percent to 42.9 percent, and Rutgers hit just two of its 14 3-point attempts. But Deshawn Freeman finished with 17 points, three assists and three steals and was one of four Knights with at least six rebounds. Corey Sanders had 15 points off the bench, and D.J. Foreman was in double figures, too, with 11 points.
Wisconsin 92, Siena 65
The Badgers trailed for a few minutes in the first half, but this wasn’t about to be an 0-2 start for Wisconsin. Bronson Koenig poured in a career-high 23 points, going 8-for-14 from the field (3-for-6 from 3-point range) and adding five rebounds and four assists. Vitto Brown and Nigel Hayes combined for 30 points and 10 rebounds, and the Badgers shot a scorching 58.5 percent from the field.