2011 Big 10-ACC Challenge Day 1: Northwestern, Illinois, Purdue And Clemson Win

Northwestern 76, Georgia Tech 60
Full Recap | Box Score

The Northwestern Wildcats improved to 6-0 on the young season with an impressive win over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Senior John Shurna, the Big 10's leading scorer, came through with a game-high 25 points for Northwestern, while Georgia Tech was led by Jason Morris, who scored a career-high 21 points. From Rodger Sherman of Sippin' On Purple:

Northwestern won their fourth consecutive Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchup on the road in Atlanta in somewhat comfortable fashion, jumping out to a 6-0 lead and never relinquishing it. At one point Georgia Tech cut the lead to three and the game was only five points at halftime, but John Shurna came out and scored the team's first eight points of the second half en route to 25 points. Drew Crawford and Luka Mirkovic - ! - followed up with 14 and 13 points and NU led by double digits for the majority of the second half.

Illinois 71, Maryland 62
Full Recap | Box Score

The Maryland Terrapins led at the break but the Illinois Fighting Illini dominated in the second half, thanks largely to Sam Maniscalco, who finished with a game-high 24 points. The Illini improved to 7-0 on the season, and have BrosWubba of Hail To The Orange excited:

The Illini faced their first big test of the season today and responded well, beating the Maryland Terrapins 71-62 on the road. Even though Maryland isn't as strong as they were under former head coach Gary Williams, this win is huge for our Illini. As part of the Big Ten/ACC challenge, this was the first nationally televised game for our freshman and first true test of the season. The Illini clawed out an impressive come-from behind win to put one on the board for the Big Ten! Here are my take-aways from this game:

This is the most talented and athletic Illini team I have seen in ages. Every player has the ability to take over the game at any time. The future is definitely bright for our young team.

For the first time in a long time, MOST of the players on the team have multiple ways to score. If our jumpers weren't falling (they weren't at the beginning of the game), our guys have the athleticism and ability to get inside. We did, and it worked.

Purdue 76, Miami 65
Full Recap | Box Score

Despite 16 points apiece from Shane Larkin, the son of MLB great Barry Larkin, and Malcom Grant, the Miami Hurricanes fell on the road to the Purdue Boilmakers, were led by Robbie Hummel (17 points) and Lewis Jackson (15). From Travis Miller at SBN Indiana

The Miami Hurricanes stepped well outside of their tropical comfort zone into the ice and snow outside of Mackey Arena, and they still were able to challenge the Purdue Boilermakers in the 2011 Big Ten/ACC Challenge. in the end, however, the Boilermakers were able to use their stifling defense to post a comfortable 76-65 win. It is the third striaght year that Purdue has won its Challenge game after only winning two games in the first ten events.

Clemson 71, Iowa 55
Full Recap | Box Score

Considering the Iowa Hawkeyes shot just 28.6 percent from the field to the Clemson Tigers' 51.9 percent, it's a wonder this game wasn't even more lopsided. Iowa did drain 20-of-22 attempts from the charity stripe, Clemson's 11-of-21 performance from three-point land was essentially the difference. The Tigers  can't stay this hot all season, but F1NS from Shakin The Southland is enjoying it while it lasts

I would like to thank the basketball team tonight, for reminding me what it feels like to enjoy watching a Clemson game. After the football team's recent performance and the losses to Coastal and CoC, I think I'd forgotten what it really meant to truly enjoy watching a Clemson sporting event. This team may not be going to the NCAA tournament--heck this team may not be going to any postseason tournament, but that performance tonight was fun to watch.

Everyone was raining down 3s tonight. Andre [Young] actually started off slowly but finished 5-6 from long range. [T.J.] Sapp had a breakout game, knocking down three treys on six attempts. Even Devin [Booker] got in on the action, knocking one down from the top of the key. Heck, even Bryan Narcisse, who was 0-4 on the season, knocked one down.

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