MBB: Monday Night Recap & Odds and Ends

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The Big Ten went 2-0 last night as Iowa and Penn State were both victorious. The Hawkeyes posted 82 points in a win over South Carolina State. The Nittany Lions topped American, 76-57. Both teams are finished non-conference games and will begin the daunting conference slate next week. Iowa will meet defending Big Ten Tournament champion Purdue to open Big Ten play on Dec. 29, while Penn State travels to Minnesota that same day for its opener.

Monday, Dec. 21

PENN STATE def. American, 76-57
The Nittany Lion basketball team will head to the Holidays feeling much better about its shooting after hitting at better than 53 percent for the second consecutive game and rolling to a 76-57 victory over American Monday night at the Bryce Jordan Center. Coming off a 104-point outing in which it shot 53.3 percent on Saturday in a 47-point win over Gardner-Webb, the Nittany Lions continued to fill it up on Monday shooting 54.9 percent for the game and a sizzling 65.2 percent in the second half to improve to 24-2 at home vs. non-conference opponents the last three seasons. Recap & Boxscore

IOWA def. South Carolina State, 82-69
The University of Iowa men's basketball team celebrated Christmas a few days early Monday night in Carver-Hawkeye Arena, racing to a 82-69 victory over South Carolina State in the team's final tune-up before opening Big Ten Conference action in a little more than a week.
Iowa used a balanced attack - both in numbers and location - to roll over the Bulldogs en route to win No. 5 in 2009-10 and its second in three days. Iowa defeated the Drake Bulldogs 71-67 Saturday evening in Carver. The loss was just the third of the season for South Carolina State against six wins. Recap & Boxscore

STREAKS & WINS

BIG TEN. BIG WINS.
Big Ten schools currently comprise one-third of the total teams in the country to own four non-conference wins over ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-10 or SEC opponents this season. Of the six programs to accomplish this feat, Northwestern is among the quartet to have defeated an opponent belonging to four different conferences in either the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-10 or SEC. NU earned its place among Gonzaga, Kentucky and Texas with a win over Stanford (Pac-10) last Saturday. In addition to the Cardinal, the 'Cats also notched victories over Notre Dame (Big East), Iowa State (Big 12) and N.C. State (ACC). Joining NU in the elite company is Wisconsin. The Badgers punched their ticket to this elite group with wins over Arizona (Pac-10), Marquette (Big East) and two ACC foes in Maryland and Duke.

WINNING WAYS
Northwestern and Purdue continued their winning ways last week, extending their unbeaten streaks to eight and 10, respectively.  NU improved to 9-1 on the year, matching its second-best 10-game start in school history. NU's eight-game win streak marks the longest since the 1993-94 squad opened with nine straight victories. A triumph over Central Connecticut State on Tuesday would give the 'Cats a tie with the 2006-07 squad for the school record for most wins prior to the start of the new year with 10. Meanwhile, Purdue stayed perfect, opening the season with 10 straight wins for only the second time since the 1936-37 campaign. The Boilers are now only four games away from matching the 1993-94 squad for the best start in school history (14-0).

STILL PERFECT
Eight teams enter this week with clean slates. The Big East (Syracuse, West Virginia) and Big 12 (Kansas, Texas) lead all conferences with two unblemished teams each.  The other perfect teams include New Mexico (Mountain West), Missouri State (Missouri Valley), Kentucky (SEC), and the Big Ten's Purdue.Three programs fell short in their pursuit for perfection last week as Georgetown, Seton Hall and Texas Tech each suffered its first loss of the season.


BIG TEN by the NUMBERS...

1    Rank of Indiana guard Maurice Creek in the nation in scoring among freshmen.
2    Number of wins Purdue needs at home to reach 500 at Mackey Arena.
5    Number of games this season in which Big Ten teams have reached or surpassed the             100 points.
6    Number of Big Ten teams ranked among the nation's top 20 in assist-to-turnover ratio.
8    Number of undefeated teams in the nation, including Purdue.
8    Number of wins over AP Top-25 teams by the Big Ten this season. That is tied for first with         the Big East who also has eight wins over said opponents.
33  Former Big Ten student-athletes on NBA rosters this season.







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