The Tuesday thru Thursday sequence of games was one of firsts. It was the first time this year the home team has swept all five conference games. And it was the first sequence to have a 20-point scorer in each game. As the league schedule turned into the second half, a number of individual players jumped up to have huge nights.
It would begin in Columbus on Tuesday. Ohio State and Purdue played a thrilling overtime game, with the Buckeyes finally prevailing 80-72. But it was no fault of JaJuan Johnson who dropped 30. But he couldn't keep up with the combo of Evan Turner and William Buford. Turner turned in a diversified performance of 26 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists, while Buford hit for 22. The one thing Purdue didn't get out of Johnson was rebounding, and that was the area the Buckeyes won the game in, nearly doubling up the Boilers with a 34-18 edge on the glass.
Devan Dumes was the hero of Indiana's first conference win of Tom Crean's Hoosier career. Dumes nailed 27 points, trumping Iowa 68-60, who got 24 from Matt Gatens.
In Michigan State's 76-47 hammering of Minnesota, it was Durrell Summers who stepped up to the plate and hit 21. The Spartans also reasserted their control of the paint with a 38-21 rebounding margin and they held Lawrence Westbrook to just six points, as Minnesota shot a woeful 28 percent from the floor. It was a good series of days for the Spartans, who not only won their game, but saw Purdue lose on Tuesday along with both Illinois and Penn State on Thursday, thus giving them a two-game cushion in the conference race.
Illinois couldn't find an answer to Jason Bohannon on Thursday in Madison. The Badger guard hit 6-of-7 from three, and ended with 20 points. He got help from Marcus Landry and Jon Leurer up front who kicked in 15 apiece. The Illini were not able to overcome an offnight from Mike Tisdale who fouled out with only two points.
Manny Harris and Jamelle Cornley each put on individual shows in Ann Arbor. Harris rang up 28 points, continuing his on-again, off-again season that's giving Wolverine fans reason to appreciate that old Red Sox wisdom of "It's just Manny being Manny." Harris had more help on this night than Cornley, whose 25 points were the Lions' only bright spot and UM won 71-57
Player Of The Sequence: I'm going to go with Turner again. In a sequence of games that saw a number of impressive scorers, Turner brought the complete package of rebounding and assists with him, as he continues his surprising surge in the MVP race.