Indiana at Michigan State, live updates . . .

Michigan State 66, Indiana 58

Intern, here. Doug and Chris weren’t able to update the blog in the second half due to the fact that they were pressed on deadline. With the game starting at 9, they basically had to have their stories in to the editors by time the game ended. We apologize.

Despite leading at the half by 10, the Hoosisers were unable to win on the road, losing to Michigan State, 66-58.

The Spartans erased the Hoosier’s lead quickly in the second half, thanks to several 3-pointers by Michigan State’s Drew Neitzel. The Hoosiers gave up 46 second-half points to the Spartans.

The Hoosiers were led by freshman Armon Bassett, who scored a career-high 25 points. Bassett was 7-12 from the field, 4-6 from 3-point range and 7-8 from the line. In addition to his scoring output he also led the Hoosiers in assists, with five.

But outside of Bassett the Hoosier’s struggled to find offense. The Spartans contained D.J. White all evening, and held him to 1-7 shooting from the field and only nine points.

IU only got seven points from it’s bench. After seeing extended playing time in his last two games, Ben Allen only played three minutes. During his few minutes on the court, Allen was whistled for offensive goaltending on a uncontested layup.

Filling in for the injured Earl Calloway, Errek Suhr played 22 minutes in the loss. He failed to score but provided the Hoosier’s with their best defensive option against Neitzel.

Some positives…

Bassett looked great. Although Dickie V’s commentary for the most part is unbearable, he did point out that Bassett will be a great backcourt companion to Eric Gordon next season.

Lance Stemler hit a 3-pointer! After missing his previous 13, Stemler broke the streak in the second half, swishing a 3 from the corner.

A.J. Ratliff played extremely well in the opening minutes, hitting two 3-pointers and playing aggressively. But Ratliff was held out most of the second half in favor of Suhr and Joey Shaw.

Indiana played very well in the first half, but let their lead slip in the second. The good news is, most Big Ten teams don’t win on the road. The bad news is, the Hoosiers had a rare road victory in their hands.

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10:54, second half: Indiana 39, Michigan State 37

Morgan got way open for that baseline jumper. He’s exploiting Joey Shaw in so many ways. That time Shaw just lost track of him.

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14:17, second half: Indiana 39, Michigan State 30

Who’s going to make clutch shots? That’s the question now, and Lance Stemler certainly offered an interesting answer for the Hoosiers. He just hit his first 3-point shot in 17 attempts (if I did my math correctly and my memory works.)

I’m trying to get a lot of the story done early, so you may have to blog amongst yourselves. I’ll check in when I can.

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Half: Indiana 30, Michigan State 20

Strong performance at both ends for the Hoosiers. The Spartans have been holding teams to 49.5 points per game over their last three. They’ve also taken care of the ball.

Indiana is really pressing them.

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2:29, first half: Indiana 27, Michigan State 18

Another turnover. Ugly. Michigan State is clearly drained from the win against Wisconsin earlier this week. They’re just not there mentally and Indiana has hustled on every play and is playing a smart, controlled game.

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3:13, first half: Indiana 25, Michigan State 18

Michigan State is up to 13 turnovers. You’re not going to win anywhere if you turn it over that many times.

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7:02, first half: Indiana 21, Michigan State 15

The Spartans are playing like the road team. They’ve turned the ball over ten times already.

For Indiana to be ahead in this game despite the fact that D.J. White hasn’t scored says a lot. The 3-pointers are falling, and Armon Bassett has been superb. He’s not forcing anything, and he’s got enough confidence in himself to create a shot if the shot clock ticks too low.

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10:54, first half: Indiana 13, Michigan State 11

Bassett was under heavy pressure from a hustling Drew Naymick, but those are shots Indiana has to hit to win a game like this

At the other end, Indiana has nobody who could even pretend to guard Raymar Morgan in their dreams. This league has many great freshmen, and he’s been overlooked some because he was injured earlier in the season. But he’s pretty much getting to wherever he wants on the floor.

By the way, Drew Neitzel gave up losing for lent.

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15:13, first half: Indiana 9, Michigan State 8

A.J. Ratliff is getting open in transition, and you can expect the Hoosiers to continue to push it. Freshman point guard Armon Bassett doesn’t have to think about much if he’s pushing the ball up the floor; it’s all just instinct taking over.

Otherwise, it’s D.J. White. The Hoosiers have been trying to work it to him on almost every possession, even though he’s often seven or eight steps from the basket.

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Setting off fireworks inside? Actually pretty cool. It’s the fog afterward that gets to you.

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Intense atmosphere here inside the Breslin Center. The crowd is so student driven, since the kids occupy almost the entire lower section of the arena.

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Dick Vitale is playing to the students here now, walking around with that patented look on his face in front of the Izzone. I’m not sure who they like more: him or Erin Andrews.

I’ll refrain from cracking a joke about that.

Anyway, senior night festivities are beginning here. So Indiana will have to contend with that emotion, too.

Wonder how Kelvin Sampson feels being back in East Lansing. He was a graduate assistant here late in 1979 under Jud Heathcote.

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Calloway appears to be feeling better. He’s able to shoot without the pain showing on his face. I still consider him doubtful because of the contact that shoulder will have to take.

Truth is, you guys will know something before we do, probably. They’ll tell ESPN exactly what his status is.

By the way, anybody watching the pregame stuff? What are they saying about Indiana? Are they showing much of practice?

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Predictions?

Indiana hasn’t won here since I was nine years old. They last left East Lansing happy after a 62-56 win in February of 1991. They’ve lost all 12 games here since then.

It’s hard to see a way for Indiana to handle this now-healthy Michigan State team without Earl Calloway. Without the point guard, Indiana’s offense is operating at a December level. Because Sampson is in his first year and he’s using another coach’s guys he’s had to sort of make this season up as he goes. As a result, he could only really turn Calloway into the type of point guard he wants, and even that was a struggle. It took at least half the season; Armon Bassett, the new point guard, has had two games.

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Doug and I are chillin’ in the media room now, preparing ourselves for tonight’s game. It’s sure to be hectic with a tight deadline. Doug is sitting with his eyes closed. He’s either meditating or he fell asleep.

Much to our chagrin, we hear there’s snow/ice/rain/other ugly stuff falling from the sky south and west of here. We’re already dreading the ride home. Be safe, everybody.

9 comments

  1. We’re four minutes into the game and it’s still a little hazy in here from the fireworks accompanying the national anthem. And it’s loud! Some Hoosier fans won’t want to hear it, but I think this is the best home crowd in the Big Ten.

  2. This is what happens when Stewart writes the promo “Indiana tops Michigan State” at halftime. He jinxed the game. Now we’ll have to ship that promo to a third-world country along with all the shirts that say the Bears won this year’s Super Bowl.

  3. Where did you guys who are doing the blog go in the second half.
    The game did not end with 10:00 minutes left. I guess you dissapeared when IU did. As pathetic as the Hoosiers were I have to say your dissapearing blogging act was just as bad.

  4. IU looks sooooo worn out! These players look like they have no energy left to play this season. They can keep talking about how not having Calloway is really hurting us…but tonight is a perfect example of what a tired team we are. We can’t keep up with teams in the second half and the only reason we haven’t lost 6 in row is b/c we had two home games mixed in there. As much as I hate to say it, we may not make the NCAA tourney with as bad as we look right now!

  5. Hey John,

    For a 9 p.m. game, we’re left basically writing as quickly as we can in hopes of sending our stories not too long after the game. So last night we were trying to catch the final ten minutes of the game while simultaneously writing stories and taking notes. The blog got away from us. Call it a turnover.

    Sorry for letting you down.

    Chris

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