North Carolina State vs. No. 2 Duke
The low point was a two-point performance against Purdue in the ACC/Big-Ten challenge. In Duke’s blow out win in West Lafayette, Gerald Henderson shot 1-for-8 from the field, o-for-0 from the foul and 0-for-3 from the behind the arc.
Then it started. 11 points in the first game, then 14, then two games of 19. In his last ten games, Henderson has averaged 17.3 points, 4.6 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.5 steals a game. His has come through for Coach K when other Duke players have been struggling.
In Tuesday night’s game with North Carolina State, Henderson continued the recent trend and took the game over when No. 2 Duke stumbled past the Wolfpack 73-56 at Cameroon Indoor Stadium.
Henderson also has the Statline of the Night: 21 points on 10-for-16 shooting, seven rebounds (three offensive), four assists, five steals and one block.
Henderson has always been an elite athlete, and in this middle portion of his junior season, Henderson’s basketball skills seem to have caught-up with his physical gifts. And if Duke is to be a serious contender and not have a another late-season collapses, Henderson will need maintain his level of play.
Kyle Singler had a slow start but came up big in the second half scoring 14 of his 17 points.
Big-Ten Run Down
Ohio State vs. No. 24 Illinois
Illinois was not a very nice host to the Ohio State Buckeyes on Tuesday night. The Fighting Illini let the Buckeyes play around for about five minutes and then OSU was never within eight points the rest of the game as the Illini beat OSU 67-49 in the first game as a ranked team.
Bruce Weber’s team has played well of late, the still are looking for the leader to handle a game in a tough situation. Demetri McCamey might be that person, but his play can be so up-and-down that I am not sure he can carry the team. But against the Buckeyes, McCamey the had a solid game despite a below par shooting night. He did finish with 13 points, seven assists, three rebounds, and two steals.
The Fighting Illini had four players in double figures with 7’1″ Mike Tisdale scoring 15 – but only getting one rebound,guard Chester Frazier had 10, Dominique Keller had 12 points and six rebounds off the bench, and then McCamey with 13.
Ohio State looks like the most offensively inept team in the Big-Ten when they are not hitting from three the struggle to find buckets. Some credit should given to Illini defense, but we have seen this Ohio State before.
Penn State vs. Michigan
Now I have long said that the Big-Ten is a deeper and a more talented conference than many were giving credit, but I never would have picked Penn State to beat Michigan. But Penn State has a veteran team that returned all starters from last season and they worked over the ice cold Wolverine team.
6’5″ 240-pound beast, Jamelle Cornley, muscled his way to 17 points and 11 rebounds, beating up the Michigan post players. But he was matched by Michigan’s DeShawn Sims as be scored 21 points and also grabbed 11 rebounds. But Sims was the only player for Jon Bieliens team to reach double figures in either category.
The Big-Ten’s leading scorer, Penn State’s 5’11” point guard Talor Battle finished with 15 points and xis assists, but did have four turnovers.
Manny Harris, the Big-Ten’s second leading scorer, was held to 1-for-9 shooting including 0-for-5 from deep. Michigan as a team shot only 38 percent from the floor and 17 percent from three and was out-rebounded by nine.
Tennessee vs. Vanderbilt
Tyler Smith called a player only team meeting and it might just have worked as Tennessee went to Vanderbilt to revenge last seasons lose when Vandy the Volunteers in their first game ever with a No. 1 ranking.
Bruce Pearl started 6’10” Brian Williams in place of Wayne Chism and they both played well in their new roles – even if for just one game.
Williams started the game with three rebounds and a great outlet pass to Smith for a breakaway dunk. When Chism checked in the game, he hit two straight shots from deep and he took over in the first half. Chism scored 16 of his 10 points and looked like he was locked into the game – something he lacks unless challenged.
The only bright spot for Vandy was George Drake. The reserve guard played 26 minutes and scored 16 points, grabbed six rebounds and two steals.
- Homer Shoutout: North Dakota State destroyed Summit League opponent Utah Valley 98-71 with Ben Woodside scoring 28 points in 22 minutes.
- In the battle for 0-2 Big 12 teams, Texas Tech beat Colorado 63-55. Someone had to win.
- Maryland won over ACC bottom feeder Virginia, 84-78. Four of Maryland starters scored 10 or more while Virgina was lead by reserve Jamil Tucker’s 21 points.
- DePaul was handed another lose in Big East play. South Florida scored 35 in each half to beat the Blue Demons 70-61.
- Creighton used a strong first half to get past Evansville 79-57. Evansville strong shooting 38 percent from the field and 8 percent from deep.