Michigan State outlasted Indiana in a game of momentum swings, beating the Hoosiers 80-65 to keep Indiana’s losing streak at the Breslin Center alive. The Hoosiers have not won in East Lansing since February of 1991.
Indiana trailed by as many as 18 points in the first half, then led by as many as nine in the second half. Michigan State rallied back just as quickly, however, and went on a 25-4 run to take a 12-point advantage and never again led by fewer than nine points.
Sophomore point guard Keith Appling led Michigan State with 25 points and seven assists. Junior center Derrick Nix had 14 points, senior guard Brandon Wood had 13 and senior forward Draymond Green had 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists. The Spartans shot 54.7 percent from the field, scored 38 points in the paint and scored 23 points off of turnovers.
“We just didn’t get enough defensive stops,” Indiana junior swingman Christian Watford said. “They didn’t really feel us at all on the defensive end and that led to some easy buckets for them. Once they got rolling, it was hard to stop them.”
The Hoosiers went on a 25-2 run between the 5:11 mark of the first half and the 15:00 mark of the second half, but other than that, they were much easier to stop. Indiana freshman forward Cody Zeller had a brutal initiation to Big Ten play and was outmanned by Nix and sophomore center Adreian Payne. The McDonald’s All-American was just 2-for-5 from the field for four points and didn’t go to the free throw line for the first time this season.
Junior guard Jordan Hulls also had a brutal night, shooting just 2-for-10 from the field and turning the ball over four times.
Watford posted his second straight double-double with 26 points and 10 rebounds. Senior guard Verdell Jones had 11 points and three assists, even though he was a game-time decision with a hip-flexor injury. Sophomore guard Victor Oladipo added 10 points, but the Hoosiers shot just 42.2 percent from the field, 6-for-17 from beyond the 3-point arc and got to the line just nine times, making five of their free throws.