Wednesday, 21 March, 2018

Big Ten Tournament: Michigan vs Nebraska Game Recap

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Melissa Porter | 04 March, 2018, 21:10

The Spartans may have lost to MI at home, which stung, but they will get their chance to exact revenge on the Wolverines on Saturday afternoon in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.

MI has won three games in three days at Madison Square Garden.

Neither the Huskers or Wolverines could gain much ground on the other in the closing minutes of the first.

The senior forward scored 26 points, just four away from his career high.

Wright, a Churchville, Pennsylvania native, played college basketball at Bucknell and started as an assistant at Rochester and Drexel. They lost to IL, one of only four conference wins for the Illini all season.

Wagner and Abdur-Rahkman were both limited by foul trouble in Michigan's opening tournament victory against Iowa on Thursday. The Huskers were able to increase their lead to six at one point in the quarter, but the Wolverines kept themselves within striking distance. Those two combined to score 41 points and shot a combined 7-for-9 from three-point land. Roby led the team with seven rebounds.

MI is now 21-0 when he scores six or more points this season. Faherty entered the game averaging 23 points-per-game.

The Spartans are also a tough defensive squad. Defensively, Michigan State yields 64.6 points per game against the opposing teams.

Rutgers was positioned well for a possible upset when trailing by three with Sanders going to the free-throw line with 30 seconds left. MI never led again after an early 11-10 lead. Throughout the quarter, the Huskers saw the size of their lead fluctuate. With six minutes to play, Nebraska led 46-44. Bigger guys. Smaller ones.

Under the heading "a bad day to have a bad day", NU missed 19 of 20 shots in one first-half stretch, fell behind by 18 points after 17 minutes and never recovered in a 77-58 loss to No. 15 MI.

In that sense, even the draw in the Big Ten tourney was at least a little unlucky. Vince hit 10-of-14 shots and 4-of-7 from 3-point range. Senior guard Katelynn Flaherty added 17. All-Big Ten senior guard Katelynn Flaherty hit five of Michigan's threes to finish with 17 points. They rarely got into transition and didn't get going until scoring the final eight points to lead 32-28.

A win over MI would have certainly helped the Huskers' argument. McQuaid's layup made it a seven-point game with five minutes to go.

With the win, the Huskers will head to semifinals to take on the Terrapins on Saturday.

Maryland advanced to the semifinals by taking down the No. 7 seed IN 67-54 on Friday.

That hope began to fade after some close losses early in the season, and especially in early December when sophomore point guard D'Mitrik Trice (foot) and freshman wing Kobe King sustained what turned out to be season-ending injuries.

There are a lot of reasons to like the Big Ten basketball tournament this year - and perhaps more not to.

Twenty-nine victories and a conference crown should leave the glass more than half-full. While one underdog advanced, Rutgers' remarkable run ended with an 82-75 loss to Purdue. Back-to-back buckets by Sanders had Rutgers up by three and Geo Baker's 3 from the left wing made it 56-50 for the Scarlet Knights with 5:12 left. Kelsey Mitchell and Stephanie Mavunga led the way for OSU scoring 22 and 18 points, respectively.

Indiana: Coach Archie Miller's first season in Bloomington figured to be rocky, but losing to Rutgers and missing a chance to play Purdue in the Big Ten tournament for just the second time stings.

OSU's opponent Minnesota earned its spot in the semis by the slimmest of margins.

The current mock drafts have him as a second-round pick, which he indicated might bring him back to Wisconsin for one more season.