ACC/Big Ten Challenge 2020: Scores, Highlights and Reaction from Wednesday

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistDecember 10, 2020

Florida State head coach Leonard Hamilton reacts the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Notre Dame in Tallahassee, Fla., Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser)
Mark Wallheiser/Associated Press

The ACC/Big Ten Challenge is supposed to be just that, a challenge.

It was anything but for the Big Ten on Tuesday when it clinched conference bragging rights by winning six of seven games. That meant the ACC couldn't win the challenge even if it won all four games on Wednesday's schedule that lost its headliner when the matchup between Michigan State and Virginia was canceled.

To its credit, that is exactly what it did.

The ACC bounced back in emphatic fashion with four straight victories, including a marquee win for Florida State over Indiana.

Here is a look at the results.


ACC/Big Ten Challenge Scores

  • Clemson 67, Maryland 51
  • Georgia Tech 75, Nebraska 64
  • Florida State 69, Indiana 67 (OT)
  • Pittsburgh 71, Northwestern 70



Clemson over Maryland

There was a time when this would have been a conference win for the Tigers, but they had little trouble dispatching their former ACC foe.

Clemson jumped out to a commanding 38-15 halftime lead and put things on cruise control from there until it improved to 4-0 on the campaign. In fact, the Tigers were never challenged thanks to a formidable defensive effort that forced 15 Maryland turnovers.

Clemson Basketball @ClemsonMBB

Aamir "𝒞𝓁𝓊𝓉𝒸𝒽" Simms https://t.co/HVRl9PgWvy

Aamir Simms led a balanced showing for the victors with 16 points, seven rebounds and two steals behind 7-of-13 shooting from the field. His ability to hit from the outside and score in the lane created matchup issues for the Terrapins, who fell to 4-1 on the season.

Donta Scott (11 points and six rebounds) was the only double-digit scorer for the Big Ten representative who may have trouble in conference play if Wednesday was any indication.


Georgia Tech over Nebraska

It appeared as if this matchup would come down to the wire when Georgia Tech took a two-point lead into halftime and the teams exchanged runs for much of the second half.

In fact, Nebraska had a 52-51 lead with less than seven minutes remaining when the Yellow Jackets shifted into takeover mode. They responded with an 18-5 run over the next five minutes with Jose Alvarado and Moses Wright leading the way and never looked back, improving to 2-2 on the season.

ACC Men's Basketball @accmbb

My goodness, Moses Wright! 😯 @mant12_ | @GTMBB https://t.co/yTExPPIgH8

Alvarado poured in 24 points, while Wright stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks and one steal.

The Cornhuskers didn't have the firepower to keep up down the stretch and finished with 16 turnovers while shooting just 37.7 percent from the field. Kobe Webster was a bright spot off the bench with 20 points, and Dalano Banton impressed with 17 points, nine boards and six assists, but it wasn't enough to prevent their side from falling to 3-2 in the early portion of the season.


Florida State over Indiana

Florida State and Indiana broke from the first two games and treated fans to a close battle that came down to the final possession.

Rob Phinisee's free throw for Indiana in the final minute of regulation tied the game and eventually forced overtime, but it was Florida State's Scottie Barnes who played the role of hero. After Trayce Jackson-Davis' free throws tied the game with six seconds left in overtime, Barnes went coast-to-coast and connected on the winning floater with two seconds remaining.

Bleacher Report CBB @br_CBB

FSU holds off Indiana in OT after a Scottie Barnes game-winner 🔥 (via @FSUHoops) https://t.co/60qEcPd6WU

The Seminoles, who also received 19 points from M.J. Walker, improved to 2-0 as a result.

The Hoosiers were far too reliant on Jackson-Davis, who dominated with 25 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks but was also the only visitor to score in double figures. The team shot just 4-of-15 (26.7 percent) from deep and had 14 turnovers while falling to 3-2 on the campaign.


Pittsburgh over Northwestern

Northwestern was running away with this one.

Until it wasn't.

The Wildcats jumped out to a 14-point lead and appeared to be in full control before intermission, but Pittsburgh battled back in the second half to set up a dramatic finish. The Big Ten team still had a five-point lead with less than 40 seconds left, but Au'Diese Toney hit two free throws, Pittsburgh forced a turnover, Justin Champagnie scored, Boo Buie missed two free throws and Champagnie slammed in the winning dunk.

Pitt Basketball @Pitt_MBB

JUSTIN CHAMPAGNIE ❗ Pitt has the LEAD! Pitt 71, Northwestern 70 | 5 seconds remaining #H2P | #ZooEra https://t.co/Xt8N1X51aD

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Justin Champagnie of @Pitt_MBB is the first D-I player with a 20-point, 20-rebound game against a Division I opponent this season. He joins DeJuan Blair (2x) as the only Pitt players with such a game over the last 25 seasons. https://t.co/38FXanHG9W

Just like that, the Panthers improved to 3-1 behind 21 points, seven rebounds and four assists from Xavier Johnson and a stunning 20 points and 20 boards for Champagnie.

Northwestern fell to 2-1 with its first loss of the season.


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