Hoosiers top Spartans, 82-75

At the end of an emotional week, one that saw them go on without two of their core players, the Hoosiers showed their heart.

It was revealed in the way Zach McRoberts jumped and dove for hustle players, in the way James Blackmon Jr. refused to miss big shots and in the way this team closed after letting another large lead whittle down to a couple possessions.

It all added up to an important 82-75 win over Michigan State on Saturday before an energetic announced crowd of 17,222 at Simon Skjodt Assembly Hall.

The Hoosiers (14-6, 4-3), who played without the services of both OG Anunoby and Juwan Morgan, have now won four of their last five games entering a stretch of back-to-back road games beginning Thursday at Michigan.

Blackmon was outstanding, tying his career high with 33 points. He had 16 of those in the first nine minutes, making each of his first six shot attempts, including four 3-pointers. His first miss of the game didn’t come until the 4:47 mark of the first half.

All told, Blackmon made 11 of his 16 field goals.

While Blackmon’s star-power was on full display, Michigan State’s Miles Bridges struggled to get going over a sustained stretch. Despite finishing with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, Bridges, the Spartans super freshman, connected on only four of his 17 field goal attempts.

With Anunoby and Morgan unavailable, McRoberts made his second start of the season and gave IU some punch with his constant activity on both ends of the court. While McRoberts was on the floor for his 32 minutes of action, IU outscored Michigan State by a team-best 14 points.

Playing connected basketball, and hitting 50 percent of their first-half shot attempts, the Hoosiers seized momentum and an early advantage. IU committed only five first-half turnovers, none of which came in the final 10 minutes of the period. Indiana finished with nine turnovers.

Even as IU cooled late in the first half, missing four of five shots at one point, Michigan State couldn’t make a dent in the Hoosier advantage while going four minutes without a field goal.

At times, IU stagnated in the second half. That, along with a barrage of 3-pointers from Michigan State, allowed the Spartans to get as close as four points with five minutes remaining.

But Indiana clamped down, holding Michigan State to two field goals in the final five minutes.

9 comments

  1. Any time you beat Michigan State it is a great win! Michigan State is not a powerhouse this year, but Izzo is a very good coach. Congrats to the Hoosiers. I thought IU would struggle on the boards and they did. Without OG and Morgan, it was a tough assignment, but the players hustled. Great game for Johnson as he is their best all-around player ar this point. Incredible shooting by Blackmon, a scoring machine. Too bad that kid can’t play defense as he would be a high NBA prospect. Good minutes from Green, McRoberts and Davis. Sure would like to see Green and Jones develop so that Newkirk would play less minutes. Every time he touches the ball I shudder, thinking a turnover will happen. With the injuries, the freshmen will get more time which is a good thing for this team. Not sure what to make of Bryant’s play. He gets muscled defensively with poor footwork and then he shows flashes of brilliance. He is definitely not ready for the NBA. Anyway, great win for IU.

  2. Great win for the Hoosiers! So we saw more of McRoberts, about time! He makes a lot of good defensive plays and even made a 3 pointer! Seems like when hes out of the game they need him in. Hopefully more playing time for him. Bryant is out in left field, too inconsistant to start. Maybe if he warms the bench he will shape up or maybe not. He acts like a drama queen out there, immature, he needs to grow up.

  3. Can the Hoosiers continue to win if Blackmon can’t drop 25+ a game? only time will tell what sort of team we have now. Green, Jones, McSwain, and Davis must continue to improve. Great win for the Hoosiers.

    The injury to OG is just heartbreaking. He is a great kid and I wish him a speedy recovery. It does make one wonder what next years roster will end up being. Will OG return…I would guess more than likely he will. Will Hartman be back? Are Blackmon and Bryant NBA bound regardless of draft position? Will a high caliber point guard be added?

  4. I always love how most of our seasons quickly enter talk of “next year” before the current edition is even 1/3 over.
    If there is one theme to a Tom Crean team, it is the existence of those old tired discussions.

    1. I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s a part of the landscape of college basketball. NBA departures, injuries, needs, wants, and transfers are common in any program, not just Tom Creans. Plus it beats talking about Bobby Knights seasons…that’s a 17 year old discussion.

  5. Since next year was brought up in the discussion, I believe both Blackmon and Bryant will be gone. Lot’s of questions, but if Jordan Tucker commits to IU, he would join Morgan and recruit Smith to give IU great strength at the forward position. I also believe OG will be forced to return. Recruit Moore is also a forward but has the size (and assuming he gains muscle and strength) to play the post. Davis would be the primary post player. IU will have some guards that can score but the missing ingredient for next year so far is the same as this year, a high quality point guard. Crean really needs to find someone as most of the highly rated point guard recruits are already taken. Green has potential but I would not count on him being a “Yogi”. If they find a point guard, they will have a strong lineup for next season.

  6. After 10 years of Crean, talking of more “upside” in “next year’s team sorta feels like Rod Serling subbing in for Don Fischer. Maybe we went to an Elite 8 in another dimension? Conference Midwest Elite(2010-present): 21 Elite Eight appearances. Indiana: Zero.
    Crean and HourGlass do more talking of Knight via the endless reunions they use to disguise every “this year” level of March Madness mediocrity as if they were replacement sand coming off the bench in a glorious time capsule.

  7. The STATE of Indiana basketball
    Games through Jan 24 – top 6
    RPI SOS
    Butler 3 12
    Notre Dame 23 41
    Purdue 26 58
    Valparaiso 65 153
    IU 74 84
    IPFW 138 255
    The good : IU is trending in the right direction.
    The bad : The Hoosier have 11 conference games remaining , 4 at home and 7 away. With 20 games under their belts they have won a grand total of 1 game on the road. They played only one non conference road game and lost (IPFW).
    The forecast : Barring a strong Big Ten tournament run …. welcome to the NIT.

  8. Obviously trending upward because of the conference games kicking in. Previous, it was atrocious.

    Wonder how Luke Fischer did in that upset against Villanova…? I’ve yet to look at the box score.

    Just took a peek..7-10, 15 pts.(second highest total). Could have had nearly 20 if he would have converted his free throws(only 1-6).

    Marquette: For a while early in the first half, Marquette looked like it would hang with Villanova all night with the way Luke Fischer maneuvering deftly through the lane and Jajuan Johnson hit jumpers.

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