Wildcats beat Gophers 75-65 in Big Ten
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Michael Thompson scored a tournament-record 35 points and Drew Crawford added 15 Thursday, leading Northwestern to a 75-65 victory over Minnesota in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.
Northwestern (18-12) now faces No. 1 Ohio State (29-2) in the first game of Friday’s quarterfinals.
Minnesota (17-14) has lost 10 of its last 11. The Gophers were led by Trevor Mbakwe with 19 points and Ralph Sampson III with 12.
But it was Thompson who stole the show by breaking the tourney scoring record of 33 set by Purdue’s Brian Cardinal.
The Wildcats turned the game with a quick flurry midway through the second half. It started with Alex Marcotullio’s 3-pointer, and the 13-1 run ended when Marcotullio put in a layup to make it 55-45 with 8:57 left.
It’s the third time in 18 years Tubby Smith did not win at least one conference tournament game.
Michigan State 66, Iowa 61
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Draymond Green had 21 points and 14 rebounds to help Michigan State beat Iowa 66-61 on Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten tournament and keep its NCAA tournament hopes alive.
Iowa’s Matt Gatens missed a 3-pointer that could have tied the game with 6 seconds remaining.
Kalin Lucas scored 11 points and Keith Appling added 10 for Michigan State, which advanced to play No. 9 Purdue (25-6) in the quarterfinals.
Michigan State (18-13) has played in the last two Final Fours and hasn’t missed the NCAA tournament since the 1996-97 season, but the seventh-seeded Spartans felt they needed to beat 10th-seeded Iowa to boost their chances of continuing that streak.
Bryce Cartwright had 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Gatens had 13 points for Iowa (11-20), which was coming off a win over then-No. 6 Purdue.
Penn St. 61, Indiana 55
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Jeff Brooks finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, Talor Battle scored 13 and sixth-seeded Penn State held off Indiana 61-55 in the first round of the Big Ten tournament Thursday night.
The win may help Penn State (17-13) make its case with the NCAA’s selection committee. Four teams, including Penn State, entered the tournament with 9-9 conference records.
Indiana (12-20) was led by Christian Watford with 15 points. The Hoosiers closed the season on a nine-game losing streak and with their third straight losing season — the first time that’s happened since 1967-70.
Penn State took a 28-27 lead on Brooks’ buzzer-beating tip just before the half and followed a similar script in the second half. Brooks keyed an 11-4 run early in the second half that gave the Nittany Lions a 42-35 lead, and Andrew Jones scored four points in a 6-0 run that sealed it.