Final Score: (1) Indiana 72, (4) Michigan State 68
East Lansing, MI (Sports Network) - Victor Oladipo's 1,000th career point may
turn out to be the biggest basket of Indiana's season.
The All-America candidate reached the milestone on a tip-in with 42 seconds
left, accounting for the go-ahead score as the top-ranked Hoosiers ended a 22-
year winless stretch at Michigan State's Breslin Center with a 72-68 triumph
over the No. 4 Spartans.
Oladipo finished with 19 points on 7-of-11 shooting and added nine rebounds
and five steals, with the well-rounded performance helping Indiana (24-3, 12-2
Big Ten) come up with its first win in East Lansing since Feb. 28, 1991. The
Hoosiers had lost in each of their l7 visits to the Breslin Center.
More importantly, the victory put Indiana a game ahead of the hard-charging
Spartans for sole possession of first place in the Big Ten standings and
solidified its case for a No. 1 regional seed in the upcoming NCAA Tournament
-- a feat the program last achieved in 1993.
Cody Zeller also eclipsed the 1,000-point mark with a 17-point effort for the
Hoosiers, with Jordan Hulls contributing 12 points on a 4-of-6 success rate
from 3-point range and Christian Watford chipping in 12 as well.
Gary Harris scored 19 points and Adreian Payne had 17 for Michigan State
(22-5, 11-3), with the duo leading the Spartans back from a seven-point
deficit early in the second half before MSU ultimately suffered its
first defeat since a 75-70 setback to the Hoosiers on Jan. 27.
"Well that was a very disappointing loss. I thought we had our chances but we
really didn't play well enough to win the game," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo
said. "We just made too many mistakes early. We had some of our key players
that weren't into the game. We had some distractions and I think it affected
The Spartans trailed 45-38 with 16 minutes remaining and 57-51 just past the
midway stage of the second half, but bounced back via a 9-2 run in which Payne
racked up seven points to move in front with just under 6 1/2 minutes to go.
Layups by Derrick Nix on consecutive possessions gave Michigan State a 66-63
edge heading into the final two minutes, and Harris made it a four-point
spread with 1:37 left after sinking 1-of-2 foul shots following a Watford
misfire on Indiana's possession.
Watford redeemed himself on the Hoosiers' next trip, though, scoring off the
glass and drawing a foul before sinking the bonus shot to bring the Hoosiers
The Spartans' Keith Appling then committed a costly miss on the front end of a
one-and-one, and Oladipo put back teammate Yogi Ferrell's unsuccessful drive
to the hoop to put Indiana up by one with time winding down.
Harris then had a layup attempt rim out, with the ball going out of bounds
with 13.8 seconds left to play. Watford would find a streaking Oladipo on the
ensuing inbounds play for a thunderous dunk and a 70-67 IU lead with 10.1
Michigan State was given one last chance, however, when Harris drew a foul
from Will Sheehey on a three-point try with 3.7 seconds left. The freshman
failed on his first foul shot, though, before making the second and
intentionally missing the last.
"I don't think we fouled Harris. We had no intentions of fouling," Indiana
coach Tom Crean said. "At that point, we were in a switching defense. We said
the word "verticality" and any shot they were going to make was going to have
to be earned. We did not want to foul in that situation. I'll have to watch
the film, but my initial reaction is that we didn't. It was called and we
dealt with it and played it out."
Oladipo would come up big once again, grabbing the crucial rebound and hitting
both of his free throws after being fouled to seal the outcome.
The Hoosiers, who entered the showdown second nationally in three-point
percentage and went 8-of-18 as a team from beyond the arc, showed off their
long-range marksmanship early on. Watford and Derek Elston each buried triples
to highlight a 10-3 run that turned a three-point deficit into an 18-14 edge
just over seven minutes in.
Indiana added to its lead before the half ended, with four straight points
from Oladipo giving his team a 29-22 advantage 4 1/2 minutes prior to the
intermission. The Hoosiers were up by as many as eight points in the opening
period, though Michigan State closed the half to get within 36-30 at the
break following a Harris basket during the latter stages of the frame.
The game marked the first time in the 23-year history of the Breslin Center
that both participants were each ranked in the top five ... Indiana now has
four 1,000-point scorers on the roster, with Watford and Hulls having
previously accomplishing the feat ... Michigan State is 2-5 this season when
having a lower field goal percentage than its opponent and 20-0 when
outshooting its foe. Indiana shot 44.3 percent for the game, while the
Spartans finished at 42.9 percent ... The Spartans fell to 3-19 all-time
against No. 1 ranked teams.