- Associated Press - Thursday, January 25, 2018

A look at the upcoming week around the Big Ten Conference:

GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 3 Purdue (19-2, 8-0) at Indiana (12-9, 5-4), Sunday. This could be a tricky game for the Boilermakers. They host Michigan, a team they beat by one point two weeks ago, on Thursday night. Next is the rivalry game on the road against an Indiana team that won four of five before losing at Illinois on Wednesday night. Purdue has matched the 1989-90 team for best Big Ten start in program history.

LOOKING AHEAD: No. 13 Ohio State (18-4) and Purdue are inside two weeks away from what could be the Big Ten’s game of the year. Buckeyes coach Chris Holtmann’s 9-0 conference record is the best to start a Big Ten career since Sam Barry went 11-0 in 1923 at Iowa. The Buckeyes have a more favorable lead-up to the meeting in West Lafayette, Indiana, on Feb. 7. They just came out of a four-games-in-nine-days stretch unscathed and play their next three games (Penn State, Indiana, Illinois) at home. Purdue starts a three-games-in-seven-day run at home against Michigan on Thursday. After the Boilermakers play Indiana on Sunday, they host Maryland next Wednesday.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Nebraska junior guard James Palmer Jr. leads Big Ten newcomers in scoring (16.7 ppg) and had a conference season-high and arena-record 34 points Monday in a 64-59 loss at Ohio State. The transfer from Miami scored the most points by a Nebraska player in a road game since Aleks Maric had 37 at Iowa State in 2006. Palmer has scored in double figures in 20 of 23 games and is averaging 23.8 points since being held to a season-low five by Penn State five games ago.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Purdue guard Carsen Edwards averaged 21.5 points in three games last week , made 9 of 14 3-pointers and had just one turnover in 54 minutes. … Michigan State set a State Farm Center record by shooting 68.2 percent from the field in a win at Illinois on Monday. … Michigan is 9-2 in games in which it makes 10 or more 3-pointers. … Sophomore Anthony Cowan Jr. (16.4 ppg) has led Maryland in scoring in 18 of 22 games, including six of nine Big Ten games. … Penn State had no field goals in the last 10:37 of its 70-61 loss at Northwestern on Saturday. … Wisconsin’s 10-11 record is the program’s worst after 21 games since the 1997-98 team had the same mark. … Iowa’s 85-67 win over Wisconsin this week was its largest margin of victory in the series since 1997.

ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: No. 16 Michigan (18-4, 7-2) is one game behind first-place Maryland after winning five straight, the longest current streak in the conference. Katelynn Flaherty scored 26 points on Tuesday as the Wolverines beat rival Michigan State 74-48 - Michigan’s largest margin of victory in the series. Flaherty is scoring 23.3 points per game to rank third in the Big Ten, Hallie Thome is averaging 16.3 points and shooting 62.3 percent from the field, Nicole Munger is shooting 43.5 percent on 3-pointers, and Jillian Dunston is averaging 9.2 rebounds. They’re allowing just 60 points a game and holding opponents to 29.8 percent shooting on 3s.


For more AP college basketball coverage: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

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