It was the first time two top-five teams had ever played in East Lansing, and by the time it was over Tuesday night’s tilt between the Spartans and Hoosiers had become a classic.
Scoring nine of the game’s final 10 points in just over a minute and a half, No. 1 Indiana (24-3 overall, 12-2 Big Ten) rallied from a four-point deficit to stun the No. 4 MSU men’s basketball team (22-5, 11-3), beating the Spartans 72-68 Tuesday night for the Hoosiers first victory at MSU since 1991.
After a back-and-forth opening five minutes, Indiana used a 10-3 run to take a lead — 18-14 with 13 minutes to go in the first half — that they would maintain for the rest of the period.
The Hoosiers lead grew to as many as eight points as MSU junior center Adreian Payne sat on the bench with foul trouble, missing the final 6:52 of the first half.
During that time, Indiana used a 7-2 rally to secure the lead before the break, 36-30 at halftime.
MSU looked like a different team coming out of the locker room, rallying for an 11-3 run to take the lead 49-48 with 13:22 remaining.
It was MSU’s first lead since the opening five minutes of the game.
But the Hoosiers had an answer, responding with a 9-2 run, highlighted by a fast break 3-pointer from guard Jordan Hulls.
Needing a spark, MSU turned to Payne, who took the ball from the 3-point line and drove hard to the rim, finishing with a powerful one-handed dunk that brought the crowd to its feet.
The dunk was part of a 9-2 run that helped MSU retake the lead, 60-59, with 6:30 to go after Payne connected on another layup.
From there, the game remained neck-and-neck the rest of the way, with neither team taking a lead of more than four points.
A free throw from freshman guard Gary Harris put MSU in front 67-63 with 1:37 remaining, but five consecutive points from Indiana, capped off by a tip in from forward Victor Oladipo helped Indiana surge back in front, 68-67 with 43 seconds remaining.
On MSU’s ensuing possession, the Spartans went back to Harris, who drove to the rim and was unable to finish through contact, giving Indiana the ball back with 13.8 seconds remaining.
After the Spartans forced Indiana to inbound the ball a second time, the Hoosiers found Oladipo streaking to the basket for a dunk, extending Indiana’s lead to 70-67 with 10 seconds to go.
Needing a three to tie, MSU found Harris, who got Indiana guard Will Sheehey in the air and drew a foul on a 3-point attempt with 3.7 seconds remaining.
Harris missed the first free throw, but hit the second, leading him to intentionally miss the third, in hopes of MSU grabbing an offensive rebound.
The shot missed, but it was Oladipo who came down with the rebound and calmly hit both of his free throws to seal the victory for Indiana.
Harris was one of two Spartans to score in double figures, finishing with a team-high 19 points, while Payne added 17 points and seven rebounds for the Spartans