Indiana blows away Michigan St.
Hoosiers defeat third top-five team this season with 70-55 rout
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Cody Zeller scored 18 points and Victor Oladipo added 13, leading No. 18 Indiana past No. 5 Michigan State 70-55 on Tuesday night, its third victory against a top five team this season.
The Hoosiers (22-7, 10-7 Big Ten) are the second team to achieve that feat this season, joining Kansas which did it with a win against Missouri on Saturday. Indiana upset No. 1 Kentucky and No. 2 Ohio State in December and now the Spartans, who could have clinched their second outright Big Ten title in four seasons with a victory.
Michigan State (24-6, 13-4) can still win the outright crown with a victory against No. 10 Ohio State on Sunday.
Instead, the Hoosiers joined the 1975-76 team as the school’s only one since 1948-49 to beat three top five teams in one season, and became the only one to do win all three games during the regular season
This time, Indiana didn’t need a last-second shot or a last-second stop to win it.
Indiana took a page a page out of Michigan State’s playbook, beating the Spartans with defense, rebounding and toughness.
Michigan State had won six in a row in the series and seven consecutive overall.
It was Indiana coach Tom Crean’s first win against Tom Izzo, his former boss at Michigan State.
Indiana’s ability to repeatedly get to the basket ignited a 12-2 run that gave it an 18-8 lead, forcing Izzo to call time out.
After the break, Izzo who had been shaking his head in disbelief, finally saw the Spartans warm up. Austin Thornton finished a fastbreak with a layup, then popped outside and hit a 3-pointer to make it 18-13.
But every time Michigan State got close, Indiana answered.
Green’s first 3 got the Spartans within 24-20. Then Christian Watford knocked down a 3 for the Hoosiers, which started a 12-5 run and helped Indiana take a 41-27 halftime lead.
It looked like the Spartans would challenge when Green scored six points in a 10-0 run to get the Spartans within 43-37 with 15:47 left in the game.
But Indiana answered with four consecutive points to make it 47-37 and after Green hit another 3, the Hoosiers extended the lead to 51-40.
Michigan State never got closer than six points the rest of the way, and the Hoosiers pulled away in the final minutes.
Indiana had beaten No. 1 Kentucky on a last-second 3-pointer by Watford and No. 2 Ohio State in December with big defensive stops late.