Michigan State downs Indiana, 80-65

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.

AUDIO: Tom Izzo

AUDIO: Tom Crean

AUDIO: Christian Watford

AUDIO: Jordan Hulls


  1. 3 things after watching this game. #1 Cody Zeller welcome to the big ten! This kid needs to suck it up and get alot more physical if we are going to win in the b10. #2 Typical IU. When any team shows they are going to get physical we tuck tail and fold like a cheap suit! I was hoping we were past this. #3 we need a pg as bad as we needed a big man going into this season!!! It blows my mind how unaware Jones and Hulls are when Zeller rolls off screens. They simply can’t get him the ball! It is going to be a longer b10 season than I hoped for. That being said im sure Crean will have this team as well prepared for our next game as they can be and boy are we gonna need it!

  2. Well, any time Zeller + Hulls only score 8 points, you know that’s an unusual game. Mich St’s defense was really good, helped by the crowd and a few “odd” calls. Not saying that the officials affected the final outcome, but the home team always gets a little help there. I have confidence that we can and will beat them at Assembly Hall.

    Watford kicked butt, that guy can really step it up when he tries. I think Zeller and Hulls will learn some valuable lessons from this and come back stronger than ever, you can’t keep those guys down for long and they learn from every experience.

    We really could have used Sheehey to slash, draw some fouls, and get some rebounds. When Hulls is getting out-sized and out-quicked, we need Sheehey and Olidipo (and maybe Abell) to step in.

    I noticed near the end that Verdell tried to win the game by himself and drive in head-down against 3 defenders for a turnover, and was taken out for the rest of the game. That was a good response and I think he’ll remember that in the future.

    All in all, IU fell apart at the end but I think that will help motivate us to beat Ohio St this weekend.

  3. The “Zeller needs to suck it up and get more physical” is a bit of a joke. He was playing plenty physical, and got two cheap calls early that set the tone for the rest of the game. The second, in particular, was a joke, he was cutting across the lane, away from the basket, and his defender jumped around him and tried to keep him from cutting, and Zeller got called for a foul for, apparently, clearing out.

    That was an awful call. It was perfectly acceptable basketball, and in line with how the game had been called and ended up being called. What was he supposed to do?

    And, from then on, with two fouls, (and an admittedly dumb third foul early in the 2nd half) he was limited in what he could do physically. MSU just did a great job defending IU’s weak post entry efforts. I’ve mentioned before that IU just doesn’t have a lot of great passing guards. Hulls obviously has a great feel for the game, but if you put a long, solid defender on him, Jordan is going to have problems getting the ball to the post. Victor isn’t a passer, nor is Verdell, nor is Sheehey, and Roth didn’t look like he wanted anything to do with the ball tonight if he couldn’t shoot it. That, combined with solid big players inside and the foul trouble, really hurt IU’s efforts to get it in to Zeller.

  4. This IS Zeller’s “Welcome” to the Big Ten. He’s a Freshman (and a really Good one) but Michigan State showed him that he is only a Freshman. He’ll get much better but I think that he found out tonight that playing in the Big Ten isn’t like playing Stetson or even Butler. IU will be fine by the end of the season and the Big Ten Tournament may be fun for us this year.

    When any team plays an Izzo MSU team, they had better play hard for 40 minutes. MSU never quits and IU needs to develope that mentality (which I think they will).

    This season will be up (Kentucky) and down (MSU) but this team will be OK. They showed a lot from the end of the 1st half through the beginning of the 2nd half. When they realize that they have to (and can) play that way for 40 minutes, this will be a special season.

  5. If Elston, broken nose or not, can’t provide some sort of post-up game, all our inside stuff has to come from Zeller, or Watford, who’s playing better, but is still pretty undersized for that role in the Big 10

  6. I think I have to say that Elston and Pritchard have to be the game MVP’s. Elston was all fired up on the bench after Zeller’s play (two consecutive buckets) then comes in and commits a foul and then immediately turns the ball over. Pritchard was, well just being Pritchard. The game was too fast for him.

  7. Last night IU was a bit of everything previous posters have mentioned here. While I had hoped we could close out a game better than we did IU showed some guts coming from 18 down in a hostile arena. Playing at MSU is not easy. Yes, Zeller came up a bit empty but MSU had more to do with that than Zeller did, he is freshman, he’s learning. The best thing about freshmen is they will be sophomores in a year. Patience. I am not big VJIII fan but for every great play he made last night(he made a few) he had as many bad plays. Will someone PLEASE teach him passing angles & anticipate on a pick and roll? IU was going to lose some B10 games. It’s still early. Learn from this and keeping playing hard boys! Go IU!!

  8. So, let me get this right, after falling behind a really good team, on the road, on a court we haven’t won on in 20 years, the guys come from 18 down to take, what(?), a nine point lead but, playing 1+ man short, in a hostile environment, they can’t quite pull it out. So, based on this, some of you have decided that our team, the same guys who have beaten the #1 team in the country already, folded like a cheap card table? I guess I was getting a different game. I saw a physical Big Ten opener. Smothering defense taking away a lot of things we’d done before. Big, strong veterans coached by the best flexing their muscles. Despite that, a young, shorthanded team stormed back from waaay down to take the lead. Giving up maturity (and 25 pounds per player) they couldn’t hold on and lost a tight game in the waning minutes. The worst case scenario for this team is that, after this week, we’ll be 12-2 with losses to OSU and MSU and a win over Kentucky. A month ago you’d have been dancing in the streets if that was offered.

    Get a grip. Are you gonna tell me you expected us to be 13-0 this morning? I am absolutely thrilled by how this season is going.

  9. Way to much Keith Appling. The lad sure has improved his skills and improved MSU’s O since moving to the point. He is among the 4 best performing PG’s I’ve seen so far this year. JohnFromBeyond hit it square, not many games can be won with 8 total points from JH and Cody. Cody’s problem can be fixed in practice, Hulls poor shooting stretches can’t. Gary Williams said it best last night, the Spartans played exceptional D last night by taking away the easy ways to score IU employs. I suspect AH will help a bunch against the Bucks. Enjoyed the alumni aspect MSU promoted last night, it made a difference. Another good effort by CW but Jones once again became the Jones of the past when the Spartans got stronger.

  10. The best thing Chet, to me, is that IU has not reached their potential. Like the Kentucky game, IU had this game with ten min. left. IU really showed signs of dominate play. Just not quite there yet. Even Duke and NC beat each other at home. Maybe IU was not supposed to win. Could they have won, yes, I think so, it just wasn’t in the cards last night. Probably the best thing for them, and us fans.

  11. Mass.Hoosier – Yeah I think that a loss is the best thing as well. Maybe you could string together a couple of losses.

  12. Hulls is a nice kid,but msu showed up his shortcomings can,t compete with the quick guards can,t defend against them,can,t get his shot against themmakes unforced errors against their quickness, is mostly a spot up shooter and can,t do it against their quicknes with a nine point lead it was time to do some coaching and cream didn,t do any,

  13. The game turned for the worse when Elston came in and played horrible. He had a couple quick turnovers, and took a really bad shot that didn’t hit anything. He continues to not hedge on defense. Michigan State scored off the pick I don’t know how many times becuase we would not hedge and Elston was the biggest offender. The last 15 minutes was very frustrating to watch because of the lack of good defense. Hopefully the guys learned something from this game and they some back with a vengence. I do not want to see more of the same…… Go Hoosiers!

  14. Pretty much all said Michigan State is quite a bit better team at this point (especially at home tonight). I still think the verdict is out on where IU truely is. Maybe 4 or 5 in the big ten would be a positive outlook and a trip to the big dance in March.

    On another note Derrick Elston is to much in the high school star mentality frame of mind. He needs to accept that part of his came is over and eliminate scoring as part of his came because when he tries to score he helps the other team tremendously. Last night IU up by 9 and everything going IU’s way, then Elston takes a ridiculous shot that hits the side of the backboard or something….after that the wheels fell off for the whole team. Michigan State scores crowd going crazy and that was that.

    However, I never blame one play or call by a ref or what happens at the end of a game whether a team wins or looses….you have to look at the total game, therefore Mich St wins anyway….But the play by Elston really stands out as a turning point for the worse in the 2nd half.

  15. “We just didn’t execute,” Hulls said after a 2-for-10 shooting effort and four turnovers. “They’re a good team. We knew that coming in here. They knew a lot of our plays, it seemed. We’ve just got to execute better, make harder cuts and move the ball more.”

    It seems like Crean’s “coaching” still sucks!

  16. Most comments way too negative.The bright spots,Watford coming of age right before our eyes.Our team needs him to play big,when he does we are capable of beating anybody.The comeback ,on the road,when we are struggling..Both of these signs tell me this isn’t the same team we have been watching the last two years.First game we havn’t covered the spread.Yeah Cody was neutralized,Hulls struggles against fast athletic guards.But ,on the road without Sheehey,we showed great heart,looked to me like they just got tired in the second half.First loss doesn’t bother me much…

  17. Good point…. 1 game in 13…..Still planning on a good season….Look for ups and downs during season….with alot of upside…..It will take the next 10 to 12 games in the big ten to see where this team and the coaching staff are really at.

  18. Ok, when you have three 3 guys 6 “9” and 250 lbs vs one 6 ’11” freshman, you are going to have issues. 2012 class come qickly!

    Hulls continues to have difficulty guarding quick guards. If Crean doesn’t develop a solution, this is going to kill us in the Big Ten.

    Watford is starting to surprise me!

    Over all, this game was a success. We went into MSU and hung with the most physical team in the Big Ten. We came back in style when I thought we were heading for a 30 point loss. This team is the real deal, we just have a few more lessons to learn and a few more people who will learn their place.

  19. thank you chet. you are right. everybody chill out. it is one game. if anyone thought that iu was going to go undefeated they were nuts. this is a good team and a program that is improving. the hoosiers will be ok. also, for anyone to think that crean can’t coach is just simply stupid. to firecrean2011, what have you coached?

  20. Anyone on here who thinks IU played as physical as msu needs an exam. Are you kidding me?? Yes we folded up ask Crean! The first half we held our own after the first 5 min. the second half they quit!! It will be on again please watch close this time. Hulls,VJ3,Elston about every IU player got man handled by his man. Does anyone think we matched their intensity or physical play? NO!

  21. Winning on the road is simply a difficult task no matter what. This year we have already lifted several monkeys off our backs on the road; we cant expect to win them all. Last night we came from 18 down to go up by 9 in the second half. A moral victory in itself. Plenty of progress to smile about this season; can’t wait to see how the next few games pan out.

  22. Funny how things change. A month ago the debate was whether we could beat Iowa.

    FC2011 has once again reset the bar on stupidity.

  23. Moral victories are meaningful only for third-world teams of the college basketball, e.g., the Washington Huskies, etc. Meanwhile Indiana has tradition, banners and much higher standards. The only thing that’s subpar at Indiana is the coach.

    But … no real blame to Crean for last night’s loss–that’s just how much he can do for his team! We all knew coming into this season what his (many) limitations were. Besides, things like these happen to even better coaches: take for example Steve Alford’s New Mexico Lobos who lost two easy games earlier in the season one of them against New Mexico St., whom they routed last night in Las Cruces.

    Thanks to Greenspan we’re stuck with Crean for a couple more years. The upside is that we’re likely to continue to see exciting basketball games in which young, intelligent and talented players will try to overcome not only their Big Ten opponents but also their bumbling, mildly inept, walk-on coach. And, who knows, some of their basketball IQ might rub off on him, whereby we might, in fact, see him improve…

  24. Never seen such a lonesome, delusional, single minded crusade against a coach as this guy Fire Crean/Rico Shit (that was funny by the way). Reminds me of the crazy religious preachers on campuses shouting their lungs out trying to ruin people’s sunny day…

  25. This team has six good players it can count on with will included. Without all of them healthy this team will struggle. We simply have no other players off the bench we can count on.

    Thought Elston may be improved this year but his basketball IQ is still terrible. You wont win many games with pritchard palying 17 minutes. Nix destroyed him down low and he is a fouling machine. Our starters better play on all playing over 30 a game.

  26. I want to add I dont see how Hulls and Yogi play at the same time next year. For one they are both short.We are going to have a two guard who is 6 foot? Secondly, in a game like last night it was much more to Yogi’s speed. I think yogi will get the majority of the minutes at point.

  27. If you mean our starting rotation (more like 7 than 6 when healthy), you’re probably right, but wouldn’t you say that’s true of most teams? Even the really good ones.

  28. If you thought this team was going to be unbeaten all year you don’t know much about basketball. First loss at MSU….not a big deal. IU will beat OSU on new year’s eve….and it will be sweet.

  29. I feel a little sorry for Rico. I’m not sure if he’s training to be “Blue Lobster” or he just doesn’t realize the heavy focal toll it’s taking to have his eyes obsessively focused on Tom Crean’s crevasse.

  30. When we get them home it will be different! Im sure you wont see a call against IU at home like the one ref called on Hull? That tripping foul was one of the worst homer calls I have ever seen and then to make it worst they counted the basket????? The B10 should reprimand that ref for such a bad call–first on the trip and then on counting the basket! No sour grapes here we just got beat but it was a terrible call!

  31. It’s not that we lost at Michigan State, it’s how we lost down the stretch by not playing defense and executing an effective offense. Personally, I didn’t expect to win, but I expected it to be close and we have a chance at the end. I was disappointed at the lack of execution at both ends of the floor for the last 10 to 15 minutes. I think the team has a lot of pride and will look at this loss and bounce back. I also think that they will give Ohio State a run for their money. If any of you are satisfied with our play last night, I think that you need to watch the game again. I really like this team and I want to see them succeed. Go Hoosiers!

  32. Just a few random and scattered thoughts;

    Say what you want, I still firmly believe our Big 10 foes raise their games when the Hoosiers come to town.

    We may have lost our edge a bit before experiencing a ridiculous NCAA witch hunt over trivial rules that were brought out of dusty filing cabinets for a targeted attack upon one school, but it has done nothing to diminish the added energy opposing teams bring when Indiana comes to town.

    I don’t see our guys feeding off that exaggerated despise for the Hoosiers. Our mental approach is too restrained and the mood too puritanical. The game should be fun. When I listened to Crean’s interview with Don Fischer just before tip-off, it was easy to feel the weight that shouldn’t be there. Maybe it’s just part of being a coach at Indiana. Maybe the heavy religion bombarding Twitter pages is mixing in to the locker room where it doesn’t belong.

    The Spartans looked like they were out on the playground. Izzo has a way of commanding respect but still keeping his guys loose and focused.

    I don’t always think Jordy is hampered by just being a step slow. There is more to it.

  33. It’s interesting how so many have determined Jordy is not quite up to playing against MSU. While he didn’t have a great game last year, he did have 17 pts, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 turnovers. Was he bigger last year?

    He just had a bad game last night.

  34. There is a negative energy draining his game. I doesn’t appear he’s been given the reins to run the floor this year. I must be a bit disheartening to know he’ll likely never get be the same player he exhibited during a three game stretch last season when a particular Hoosier was absent from the lineup. And with Yogi coming in next year as the savior point guard, Hulls would love nothing more than to prove he could run this team from the backcourt if given the full opportunity.

    To give Hulls that full vote of confidence would mean taking some hope away from a guy Crean has an unresolved conflict, a desire to be a fatherly figure to one that can be dysfunctional to the family; a need to pump up a frail ego more than watch a team flourish in his absence.

    You were right a few days ago, Chet. You were very perceptive to the challenge of balancing the wants of a heart vs. what is best for the team(and the guy that seems to be able to extract the best out of the other four guys on the floor when he is solely running the show in the backcourt).

    It’s a lot easier to just criticize Hulls. I would love nothing more than to see Hulls and VO(even Remy after a little more experience) start in the backcourt. Put Watford and Elston on each side of Cody. It won’t happen within what is dictated by decisions from the bench.

  35. Jordan Hulls is simply overmatched!! Its not that he’s a bad player. He just can’t handle his assignment most nights defensively which is always overlooked because he puts points up. When he gets killed on D and doesn’t score that’s when he hurts the team. We have to deal with that atleast for the rest of the season. All of you Crean haters are to stupid to insult! Can you people atleast give him one year of coaching with real talent before you call for his head? You can’t blame Crean for last night. When they turned it up we backed off and that can’t fall on him! Let’s see how we rebound against #2. Im sure he will have this team ready to play 40 minutes.

  36. “…meaningful only for third-world teams of the college basketball…”

    On top of ignorant, you’re a genuine bigot, aren’t you? Haven’t seen many making it so public.

  37. Sorry, I should have added football too… Have you seen the Huskies last night in the Alamo Bowl? Huge, huge moral victory… next year back to the Toilet Bowl with them.

    Also, get outside more. Seriously. It’s that time of the year.

  38. It was great to see Baylor dressed in Oregon green and just beat the chet out of the Huskies last night! Hope you guys enjoyed it too…

  39. There is always one idiot poster making idiot comments on every board, I think we all know who that is on this board, boy, would hate to be his wife or kids eh? I bet that when his kids are successful he takes the accolades, when they fail, he blames them!

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