Here are the Big Ten Top Performers from the weekend that was.
Big Ten Top Performers
Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman, Michigan
That. Was. Awesome.— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 3, 2018
Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman with the GAMER https://t.co/kme9zRYIkw
The Michigan Wolverines were nearly upset in overtime by the visiting Minnesota Golden Gophers. Five Michigan players had double figures including Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman, who led his team with 17 points. Abdur-Rahkman scored the game winning bucket with seconds left while getting fouled. The senior made the free throw and Michigan escaped with the 76-73 win.
Vincent Edwards, Purdue
“The RAC is a magical, cursed place,” uttered TCR’s Matt O’Neall in the Slack chat on Saturday afternoon while a bunch of us were watching the Rutgers Scarlet Knights put on a heroic performance against the Purdue Boilermakers. Purdue had been blowing out good teams all season long, and Rutgers was coming off of a 40-point loss to Illinois earlier in the week. Rutgers’ second half performance fell just short and Purdue remains perfect in Big Ten play.
Senior forward Vincent Edwards was everywhere and stuffed the Boilermakers stat sheet. He finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.
Mike Watkins, Penn State
Penn State is .500 in conference play after easily taking care of the Iowa Hawkeyes in State College. The Nittany Lions were up 19 points at halftime and coasted the rest of the way to the win. Tony Carr is always the star when it comes to Penn State basketball, but forward Mike Watkins had a tremendous game as well. Watkins held his own down low for 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Penn State faces Maryland on the road this Wednesday. That’s an important game for Big Ten bubble watch.
Jaren Jackson Jr., Michigan State
Jaren Jackson Jr. scored 10 points and blocked seven shots in Michigan State’s 63-60 win over Indiana in Bloomington. Jackson Jr is so long and runs so fluidly around the paint, he barely even has to leave his feet to make an impact on defense. Combine those instincts with a pretty good outside shot, and it’s no wonder NBA scouts are salivating at what this freshman could look like three, four and five years down the line in an NBA training regimen.
Sparty heads to Iowa City to play the Hawkeyes on Tuesday before hosting Purdue next Saturday on ESPN.
Keita Bates-Diop, Ohio State
Ohio State ended the first half on a 19-0 run and the Illini kept it close for most of the game. Big Ten Player of the Year candidate (and arguably shoe-in at this point) Keita Bates-Diop erupted with 35 points and 13 rebounds. He was 10 for 16 from the field and made 13 of his 15 free throws. Bates-Diop and teammate Kaleb Wesson combined for 23 rebounds in the game. The entire Illini team finished with 22 rebounds. Even when Illinois is making shots and winning the turnover battle, it’s hard to overcome such a big rebounding margin.
Anthony Cowan, Maryland
That’s five losses in a row for the Wisconsin Badgers after falling to the Maryland Terrapins 66-63 in College Park. The Badgers are reeling and have lost eight of their last nine. Terps guard Anthony Cowan scored 23 points and was a perfect six for six from the free throw line. Four of those free throws came in the waning seconds to seal the Maryland victory for good.