ACC/Big Ten Challenge 2019: Scores, Highlights and Reaction from Wednesday

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 5, 2019

Purdue guard Jahaad Proctor (3) signals a 3-point basket against Virginia during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in West Lafayette, Ind., Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Michael Conroy/Associated Press

It all came down to Wednesday.

The 2019 ACC/Big Ten Challenge was tied at four games apiece coming into a loaded slate of games that helped determine conference bragging rights until next year's edition. The showdown between the No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes and No. 7 North Carolina Tar Heels served as the headliner, but there were six games on the docket.

Here is a look at the scores and summaries for each one.


Wednesday Scores

Purdue Boilermakers 69, No. 5 Virginia Cavaliers 40

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 73, Nebraska Cornhuskers 56

No. 3 Maryland Terrapins 72, Notre Dame Fighting Irish 51

NC State Wolfpack 69, Wisconsin Badgers 54

Penn State Nittany Lions 76, Wake Forest Demon Deacons 54

No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes 74, No. 7 North Carolina Tar Heels 49


Purdue 69, Virginia 40

Purdue notched the biggest upset of the 2019 ACC/Big Ten Challenge with a resounding 69-40 victory over Virginia.

The Boilermakers wasted little time seizing control with a 26-9 lead and never looked back thanks to suffocating defense and impressive three-point shooting. The home team connected on 13 of 25 shots from downtown (52.0 percent) compared to just four of 24 (16.7 percent) for the Cavaliers, preventing the visitors from dictating pace like they typically do and keeping any comeback efforts at bay.

Big Ten Network @BigTenNetwork

.@BoilerBall broke the dam. The home team leads No. 5 Virginia by 19 late, and Mackey Arena can feel it: https://t.co/ruj8n6KHzf

Purdue used a balanced scoring effort in the blowout win with four starters in double figures, including Sasha Stefanovic (20 points, four steals and three rebounds) and Jahaad Proctor (16 points, four steals and four rebounds).

The offensive performance was all the more notable considering Virginia is No. 1 in the country in Ken Pomeroy's pace-adjusted defensive rankings.

Jay Huff led the way for the Cavaliers with 11 points and four rebounds.


Georgia Tech 73, Nebraska 56

Georgia Tech kept the theme of home-team victories in the early games rolling with a 73-56 win over Nebraska.

It was a two-man show for the Yellow Jackets.

Michael Devoe set the pace from the perimeter on his way to 26 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and three steals while draining four shots from three-point range. Running mate Moses Wright was a matchup problem for the Cornhuskers, attacking the basket off the bounce and controlling the boards with 18 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

Georgia Tech Basketball @GTMBB

.@accmbb leading scorer @mdevoe0 has eclipsed the 2️⃣0️⃣ point mark for the FIFTH time this season 💪 #GaTech 50, Neb 40 // 11:41 2nd #B1GACC #BuiltDifferent /// #TogetherWeSwarm 📺 ESPNU https://t.co/OuwKxeacDT

Nebraska didn't have any answers for the tandem and never made a meaningful run in the second half despite remaining within relative striking distance for much of the game.

Haanif Cheatham provided a silver lining for the Cornhuskers with a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds.


Maryland 72, Notre Dame 51

Maryland is the Big Ten's highest-ranked team and did its conference proud with a 72-51 win over Notre Dame.

The Terrapins built a double-digit lead in the first half and never looked back, capitalizing on the raucous atmosphere and running away from their ACC foe. They weren't even particularly impressive on the offensive end while shooting 40.3 percent from the field and 27.6 percent from deep but used a stifling defense to overwhelm an overmatched opponent.

Emily Giambalvo @EmilyGiam

Maryland 32, Notre Dame 20 Maryland made eight of nine straight shots to close the half. Aaron Wiggins misses a three, gets his own rebound and dunks on the buzzer. Terps have played *very* well to close first halves this season.

Jalen Smith was a force on both ends of the floor inside with 15 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks, and Eric Ayala directed the effort from the outside with 14 points, five assists, five rebounds and two steals.

The Fighting Irish didn't have an answer for Maryland's overall balance but still received notable showings from John Mooney (17 points and 12 rebounds) and Prentiss Hubb (13 points, five rebounds and three assists).

If Wednesday's performance was any indication, the Terrapins are the team to beat in the Big Ten this season. They were dominant on the national stage and have elevated themselves ahead of a Michigan State squad that has been slow out of the gates.


North Carolina State 69, Wisconsin 54

Talk about swinging a game.

North Carolina State's Markell Johnson drilled a half-court shot at the buzzer of the first half to turn a one-point deficit into a two-point lead, and the Wolfpack never looked back. The home team didn't trail in the entire second half and secured a 69-54 victory over Wisconsin.

ACC Digital Network @theACCDN

Raleigh banks were open late for @kells_2017! 💸 #WPN #MustSeeACC | @PackMensBball https://t.co/1MSJihXiJT

It is a win that should carry some weight for the Wolfpack should they find themselves battling for an NCAA men's tournament spot in March. They swarmed on the defensive side throughout the second half, holding the Badgers to 24 points and contesting almost every outside shot.

Jericole Hellems spearheaded the victorious effort with 23 points and four rebounds behind 8-of-13 shooting from the field and 4-of-6 from three-point range. Johnson was the only other North Carolina State starter to finish in double figures with 12 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Aleem Ford was Wisconsin's leading scorer with 13 points and seven boards, but the visitors didn't have enough firepower after they fell behind in the second half.


Penn State 76, Wake Forest 54

Penn State hasn't made the NCAA men's tournament since the 2010-11 campaign, but that could change this season if Wednesday was any indication.

The Nittany Lions handled the Demon Deacons with ease in a 76-54 victory, jumping out to an 18-point halftime lead and shifting to cruise control until they secured the victory for their conference.

Wake Forest struggled to contain Myreon Jones on the perimeter, and he finished with 22 points and two steals on 8-of-13 shooting from the field and 3-of-7 from deep. The attention he attracted created openings for his teammates, and Lamar Stevens took full advantage by stuffing the stat sheet with 14 points, seven rebounds, four steals and three assists.

Tyler King @King_TylerB

Remember last season when people kept waiting for Rasir Bolton to step up and consistently be the Penn State’s No. 2 scoring option? Well, Myreon Jones has become that (and more) this season. The sophomore has made a huge jump this season.

Penn State was also impressive on the defensive end, holding the visitors to a mere 29.3 percent shooting from the field and forcing 20 turnovers.

There wasn't a lot that went right for Wake Forest, but it did receive a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds from Olivier Sarr.


Ohio State 74, North Carolina 49 

Not even a showdown between Top 10 schools could break the streak of blowouts in Wednesday's action, as Ohio State steamrolled North Carolina 74-49 in a head-turning road win for Chris Holtmann's side.

The Tar Heels were playing shorthanded for much of the game after Armando Bacot exited with an ankle injury, but the Buckeyes were clearly the superior team.

Seth Davis @SethDavisHoops

I know Bacot got hurt but this has got to be devastating for Carolina's confidence. Can't remember last time I saw the Heels get run out of the Dean Dome like this

They kept Cole Anthony (15 points and three assists) in relative check, and he was the only North Carolina player to score more than nine points.

On the other side, Duane Washington Jr. finished with 18 points and five rebounds behind a blistering 4-of-8 shooting from three-point range, while go-to option Kaleb Wesson added 10 points and nine rebounds. E.J. Liddell notched 12 points and five boards off the bench.

There are few venues in all of college basketball that are more difficult to win in than the Dean E. Smith Center, and Ohio State earned a nonconference win that will stand out on its resume come Selection Sunday when it is battling for a favorable seed.