Big Ten Wonk
Monday, January 02, 2006
BONUS is-you-is-or-is-you-ain't-a-holiday edition!
I realize many of you have the day off today. So in that same lax spirit enjoy this special reduced-calorie recaps-only edition of Big Ten Wonk.

COMING tomorrow!
Wonk's second annual Big Ten Season Tip-Off Double-Issue Spectacular. Festivities to include:

--Michigan State: can an offense this good be kept out of the Final Four by a defense this bad?
--State of the Team Addresses for all!

Tune in tomorrow!

In today's less Wonk-ish venues....
Team stats have been updated. Get on over to the sidebar and enjoy.

Last year in Big Ten hoops--Friday!
Memphis beat Purdue 90-70 in Memphis. The Boilers were actually in this game with three minutes to go in the first half but the Tigers then went on an 18-2 run to lead at halftime 45-26. Memphis forced 25 Purdue turnovers--and had 21 of their own, or the final margin would have been greater. Connecticut transfer Marcus White had his best outing as a Boilermaker, recording 13 points and seven boards in 19 minutes. (Box score.)

Iowa beat St. Louis 60-50 in St. Louis. At just 31.4 percent, the Hawkeyes' three-point shooting has been dismal this season--but it won them this game, as they went 10-of-19 from outside. Adam Haluska and the newly returned Jeff Horner were a combined 7-of-12 on their threes. (Box score.)

Illinois beat Tennessee-Martin 84-46 in Champaign. The Illini led this game 17-0 and 26-1 before the Skyhawks made their first field goal with 9:16 left in the first half. On paper this was the best defensive effort of the year for Illinois, allowing just 46 points in a 74-possession game (0.62 points per possession). Rich McBride attempted no fewer than 10 threes and made seven of them to lead all scorers with 21 points. Dee Brown recorded 10 assists and James Augustine passed Efrem Winters as the Illini's all-time leading rebounder. (Box score.)

Last year in Big Ten hoops--Saturday!
Pitt beat Wisconsin 73-64 in Pittsburgh. The Badgers trailed the entire second half and pulled to within four with under two minutes left before the Panthers finished the game with a 6-1 run. Bo Ryan's team shot close to their season average on their twos but were cold on their threes (3-of-15) and at the line (13-of-20). Alando Tucker led all scorers with 25 points but needed no fewer than 20 shots and 12 FTAs to get there. Excellent coverage of this one (here and here) from the very well done Pitt Sports Blather blog. (Box score.)

Ohio State beat LSU 78-76 in Columbus, thanks to a game-winning three from Matt Sylvester in the final seconds. (Where have I heard this before? Anyway, video here, courtesy of Buckeye Commentary.) The Buckeyes trailed 73-58 with six minutes to go but finished the game on a 20-3 run. For the second game in a row, Terence Dials got some touches and converted them, recording 24 points. Postgame thoughts have been posted by Around the Oval and Buckeye Sports Blitz--make haste! (Box score.)

Indiana beat Ball State 80-56 in Muncie. Robert Vaden scored 22 points on 6-of-6 shooting from three-point land and has now made his last 10 in a row from beyond the arc. Speaking of sixes, a foul-blighted Marco Killingsworth coughed the ball up six times in just 16 minutes. D.J. White made his first start of the year and chipped in 16 points and nine boards in 23 minutes. IU has now posted an effective FG pct. of better than 60 in seven of their 10 games. (Box score.)

Minnesota beat Oral Roberts 67-54 in Minneapolis. The Gophers opened up the time capsule and brought back a standard game from last year: fast (79 possessions) with a ton of turnovers (a total of 40) and, ORU's Caleb Green notwithstanding (24 points and 15 boards), not much offense (Minnesota won comfortably with just 0.85 points per possession). For more, see the spanking good recap from Golden Gopher Hoops. (Box score. Here's a stat: Oral Roberts' defensive rebounding pct. in this game was 88.9. With offensive rebounding monster J'son Stamper sitting the game out with a sprained knee, the Gophers had just four offensive boards.)

Michigan State beat Coppin State 78-54 in East Lansing. The Spartans' shooting was merely mediocre but that makes little difference when you rebound almost 60 percent of your misses--State had 23 offensive boards. Mo Ager led Michigan State with 25 points. Paul Davis had a 16-13 dub-dub. (Box score.)

Michigan beat Chicago State 86-69 in Ann Arbor. The Cougars are quite small and Courtney Sims had a predictably big day: 22 points, 13 boards and eight blocks. Daniel Horton now has two consecutive points-assists dub-dubs. (Box score.)

Penn State beat Mount St. Mary's 65-53 in State College in a game that wasn't as close as the final score might suggest. The Nittany Lions were up 24-4 by the midway point of the first half. Geary Claxton led PSU with 16 points. (Box score.)

2006 in Big Ten hoops--the year so far
Northwestern beat Northern Colorado 82-47 in Evanston yesterday. Coming off a blowout win against Division III DePauw, the Wildcats enjoyed a second consecutive laugher against the 1-15 Bears. Vedran Vukusic made 11 trips to the line and led NU with 22 points. Bill Carmody's team played without Mohamed Hachad, who underwent an appendectomy last week and will miss two to three weeks. (Box score.)

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