Michigan State hits reverse, shines through for 78-71 victory at Indiana

After sloppy start, Spartans (11-9, 5-9 Big Ten) turn it around as Aaron…

Michigan State hits reverse, shines through for 78-71 victory at Indiana
Michigan State hits reverse, shines through for 78-71 victory at Indiana 1

Matt Charboneau
| The Detroit News

For the better part of the first half Saturday against Indiana, it looked like Michigan State was turning in a familiar performance.

The turnovers were coming quickly, the fouls were mounting and the Hoosiers were more than happy to take advantage.

But, with the season spiraling further, Michigan State stopped giving the ball up, found some confidence offensively behind its two best players, and put together a remarkable second-half run to knock off Indiana, 78-71, at Assembly Hall.

Aaron Henry matched a career high with 27 points while Joshua Langford scored 14, including eight in a row as Michigan State took control of the game in the second half. Gabe Brown added 14 points for the Spartans (11-9, 5-9 Big Ten), who ended a two-game skid by riding a 31-10 run to flip the game and leave at least a glimmer of hope headed down the final two weeks of the season.

BOX SCORE: Michigan State 78, Indiana 71

Trayce Jackson-Davis was a load the entire game, scoring 34 to lead Indiana (12-10, 7-8) while Race Thompson scored 15 and Armaan Franklin chipped in 13 for the Hoosiers.

Michigan State suffered through another ugly start, turning the ball over on four of its first five possessions as Indiana quickly took control of the game.

But a surge began for the Spartans as they started to take care of the ball and made it tougher for Jackson-Davis to get the ball. A 16-5 run for Michigan State that was capped with a jumper from Henry, tied the game at 26 with 2:52 to play in the opening half. Indiana scored the last four points of the half, taking a 30-26 lead to the locker room, scoring 11 points of Michigan State’s 10 turnovers.

The second half had a similar start, only this time Michigan State subbed fouls for turnovers as Indiana quickly pushed its lead to 38-29 less than three minutes into the half. The margin stayed at nine before the Spartans started to come to life.

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Langford scored eight points in a row and Michigan State nailed four 3-pointers as it put together an 18-2 run to take a 57-52 lead with 7:56 to play. Jackson-Davis responded with a three-point play to pull the Hoosiers within two.

The lead ballooned to 70-58 after a Brown triple before Indiana clawed back by scoring the next six points but Rocket Watts responded with a runner to push the Spartans’ lead to 72-64 with 2:46 to play. Indiana pulled within 75-71 on a triple from Franklin with 37 seconds to play, but the Spartans put the game away with a few stops in the final seconds.


Twitter: @mattcharboneau

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