October 20, 2015

With its Big Ten hopes all but gone, Michigan State will try to seek to spoil Indiana's chances in its return home.

The eighth-ranked Spartans have usually proved victorious in the Hoosiers' recent visits to East Lansing and seek a fifth consecutive overall win in the series Sunday.

Michigan State (20-5, 7-5) likely needed to win out to have a chance at its first conference title in four seasons but were denied a fifth straight win Tuesday, losing 82-81 in overtime at Purdue.

The Spartans rallied from an 18-point deficit in the second half and held a two-point lead with 1:46 left but failed to regain that advantage.

"We didn't quit. I think that's a big deal right now because you're going to have a bad game here and there. Sometimes that's going to happen," coach Tom Izzo said. "We still almost found a way to win. That was the encouraging part."

Michigan State will try to bounce back with its 20th win in 21 home games against Indiana (20-5, 10-2), a stretch that dates back to 1992. The Spartans blew out the Hoosiers 70-50 in last season's lone matchup at the Breslin Center.

Indiana will try to turn the tables while registering its second straight win over a top-10 opponent. The Hoosiers gained a share of the Big Ten lead Thursday with an 85-78 home victory over No. 4 Iowa.

They recovered after blowing a 16-point lead to end a five-game losing streak to ranked opponents. Indiana's bench outscored the Hawkeyes' 28-0 as the Hoosiers, averaging a Big Ten-best 84.1 points, rebounded from a 68-63 loss at Penn State on Feb. 6.

They'll next face one of the conference's stingiest defenses. Michigan State is allowing 63.6 points per game on 37.3 percent shooting.

"We earned this one, and we're proud of our guys," coach Tom Crean said. "I know (Izzo) has been sitting there anxiously awaiting this game especially after Tuesday night. They'll have 15,000 of his closest friends ready to go along with his team and it will be a tremendous atmosphere.

"This is a big step for us tonight, and we're looking forward to our next challenge on Sunday."

Yogi Ferrell struggled from the floor again, going 2 for 12, but sank all eight of his free throws and finished with 14 points. He went 3 for 12 in the loss at Penn State.

Ferrell has averaged 18.5 points in the Hoosiers' four consecutive losses to Michigan State. He had 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists in the most recent meeting, a 74-72 home loss March 7.

Michigan State's top scorer, Denzel Valentine (19.0 ppg), has averaged 9.3 points on 31.7 percent shooting in four career starts against Indiana. Valentine is averaging 21.9 points in his last seven games and scored 27 while finishing two rebounds shy of a triple-double Tuesday.

The Spartans have won their past two home contests, including a 74-65 victory over then-No. 7 Maryland on Jan. 23, after suffering their first two losses at the Breslin Center this season.

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