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tBBC Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament: Day 2 Recap

Discussion in 'News' started by Charles, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. Charles

    Charles Guest

    Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament: Day 2 Recap
    Charles
    via our good friends at Buckeye Battle Cry
    Visit their fantastic blog and read the full article (and so much more) here


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    After a two game, sort of preview day yesterday, the Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament stepped things up today with a full day of action.

    Things got going at noon when 8 seed Michigan took on 9 seed Iowa. The Wolverines got off to a hot start and built a 24-8 lead in the first seven minutes of the game. The Hawkeyes finally got their offense going and started to chip away at the Michigan lead while the Wolverines offense slowed down. Iowa took the lead midway through the second quarter and kept going, building a 52-42 advantage heading into halftime. The Hawkeyes would grow the lead to as much as 14 in the third quarter but the Wolverines found an answer and pulled within two early in the fourth. That was as close as Michigan would get as the Iowa offense took control and the Hawkeyes came away with a comfortable 97-85 win. The Iowa offense was impressive in this one, having 3 players reach the 20 point mark and 3 players come up with double-doubles while shooting 60% from the field and 66% from the three point line.

    The second game saw 5th seeded Minnesota take on 12th seeded Northwestern. Without senior leader Maggie Lyons, the Wildcats weren’t given much of a chance but they paid no attention to the experts. Northwestern jumped out to an early double digit lead and while Minnesota would make some runs, the Wildcats always had an answer. The Golden Gophers would get as close as 1 early in the fourth quarter but Northwestern’s Nia Coffey answered with 9 straight points. Minnesota would get within two baskets in the closing minutes but the Wildcats hit their free throws to salt away an up 84-74 upset. Minnesota entered the game on the NCAA bubble but today’s loss ended those hopes, meaning that Rachel Banham, the Big Ten career scoring leader, will finish her career without ever playing in an NCAA tournament game.

    Game three saw 7 seed Nebraska face off against 10 seed Nebraska. Rutgers got off to a hot start and lead 23-9 after the first quarter before Nebraska came roaring back to pull within one, 34-33, at halftime. The Cornhuskers continued their momentum in the second half, taking a lead and going up by as much as 8 in the fourth quarter. The Scarlet Knights weren’t done though as they put together a run to take a one point lead with a minute to go in the game. Neither team could score and Nebraska had a chance to hit the winning basket but threw away an inbound pass with three seconds to go and Rutgers hit a pair of free throws to get the 66-63 upset.

    The last game of the day was 6th seed Purdue against 11th seed Penn State. The game got off to a slow start offensively but the Nittany Lions put together a run late in the first quarter to take a 15-6 lead. Purdue got their offense going in the second quarter while PSU cooled and the Boilermakers went into halftime up 28-25. PSU would retake the lead early in the third quarter and would stretch that lead to as much as five before Purdue scored 9 straight to go back on top heading into the fourth quarter. The Nittany Lions had a couple chances to pull ahead early in the fourth but couldn’t do so and the Boilermakers pulled away for a 70-59 win; the only win by a higher seed on the day.

    Tomorrow sees the top four seeds finally hit the court in Indianapolis as the 14 team Big Ten means that those teams get a double bye. Top seeded Maryland will start things off against Iowa. The Terrapins have only lost two conference games since joining the Big Ten, both to Ohio State this season, and they easily won their only game against the Hawkeyes this season. That said, if Iowa can shoot like they did today, they are easily capable of pulling off those upset. Expect a high scoring game in this one.

    Northwestern’s reward for upsetting Minnesota is a matchup against 4 seed Indiana. The Hoosiers have been hot down the stretch, winning 10 of their last 12 games which included a road win against the Wildcats. Northwestern stumbled through Big Ten season but have momentum in the tournament; the question is how well the Wildcats can keep the energy up playing their third game in three days against a rested Indiana squad.

    The afternoon session tomorrow starts with #2 seed Ohio State taking on Rutgers in a game that tips at 6:30 eastern. The Buckeyes seemed to have the regular season conference title in hand before losing their last two games and falling to second place. OSU won both regular season meetings between the two schools but the game at Rutgers was a bit closer than the Buckeyes would have liked. Expect Ohio State to be fired up after how they finished the regular season and the Scarlet Knights are going to need a very good offensive performance to keep up in this one.

    The final game on Friday will be 3 seed Michigan State against Purdue. A late season five game losing streak put the Boilermakers on the NCAA bubble but today’s win gives them four in a row and probably gets them into the Big Dance though one more win would make them a lock. The Spartans ended the regular season with a four game winning streak and they beat Purdue in their only meeting of the regular season. MSU’s Ariel Powers is one of the best shooters in the Big Ten and the Spartan’s strong defense will be a challenge for a Purdue team; though the Boilermakers always seem to have some sort of magic in Indy.

    tBBC Predictions

    As part of our tournament preview article, the staff here at tBBC made their predictions as to how the tournament would go. The large number of upsets today played havoc with many of our predictions; fortunately none of us took these picks to Vegas. Lets see where everyone stands after two days of action.

    Michael: 0-0 (Michael skipped straight to the semis for his predictions)

    Scott: 4-2

    Brandon: 3-3

    Joe: 2-4

    Ken: 4-2

    JC: 3-3

    WVa: 4-2 (only person to correctly pick Northwestern over Minnesota)

    Charles: 4-2

    The post Big Ten Women’s Basketball Tournament: Day 2 Recap appeared first on The Buckeye Battle Cry: Ohio State News and Commentary.

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