Monday, November 29, 2021

FINAL: MSU 64, Indiana 58, Spartans capitalize on nail-biting win against Indiana

March 2, 2021
Junior guard Aaron Henry shoots a floater over Indiana's sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, during the Spartans' 64-58 win at the Breslin on March 2, 2021.
Junior guard Aaron Henry shoots a floater over Indiana's sophomore forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, during the Spartans' 64-58 win at the Breslin on March 2, 2021. —
Photo by Devin Anderson-Torrez | The State News

After an ugly first half, the Michigan State men’s basketball team needed revival.

Their first four points of the game came from free throws, which should have been telling on its own. By the time halftime struck, MSU had tied Indiana 26-26, being led by Julius Marble II and Joshua Langford, who each had six points. They were shooting at 36%, going 8-for-22 from the field.

Aaron Henry was off to a slow start, which threw the Spartans for a loop. The Henry that scored 27 points against the Hoosiers two weekends ago was nowhere to be found. He went into the locker room at the halftime buzzer with only four points.

However, something in him came alive, and he went on to finish the night with 22 points, going 8-for-16.

A brutal back-and-forth second half proved MSU knows it’s March. They managed to pull off a second close-scoring victory over Indiana, the board reading 64-58 just after 10 p.m. to boost their Big Ten standings and their chances at postseason play.

Langford finished the night as the Spartans second leading scorer with 13 points, going 4-for-9 from the field.

Gabe Brown came up third on that roster, knocking in back-to-back three-pointers with 10:08 left on the clock to push both himself into double figures and the green and white into a solid lead. He finished with 10 points.

Marble and Hauser, who again found themselves in foul trouble at-risk of being ejected, added a combined 12 points and Marcus Bingham Jr. fronted another three points.

Overall, the Spartans shot 38% from the field, 24% from 3-point range and 67% from the line. In the final stretch, MSU held off their opponent well. The narrative of the game had definitely changed between start and finish and their winning formula of “the less turnovers the better” proved true yet again.

Indiana guard Rob Phinisee led the way for the Hoosiers, coming out with a total of 16 points and going 6-for-16 from the field. He was backed up by fellow Hoosier forwards Trayce Jackson-Davis and Jerome Hunter, who laid out 15 points together, and Race Thompson, who added another eight himself.

The Spartans (14-10, 8-10 Big Ten)  have two games left in their regular season, both against in-state rival No. 2 Michigan (18-2, 13-2 Big Ten). The first will be duked out at the Crisler Center on Thursday, March 4. ESPN will air the game, with tipoff slated for 7 p.m.

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