Michigan State's first offensive play resulted in a turnover, while Indiana's initial possession was a bucket in the post from Trayce Jackson-Davis.
From there, MSU turned the ball over seven times in less than seven minutes, ten in the first half – it all felt pretty familiar.
Jackson Davis, the Hoosier power forward, is a nice inside scorer and remarkably consistent; he's the type of big man Michigan State has struggled to contain this season.
It wasn't shocking to see him draw fouls and finish the first half with 14 points (4-of-8), five rebounds, and two blocks.
Nor was it surprising to see the Spartans struggle to protect the basketball, and IU made them pay with 11-points off of turnovers.
Eventually, Michigan State found its stroke, scoring on five consecutive possessions, draining 7-of-9 field goals to tie the game at 26 with 2:52 remaining.
It was a nice recovery considering MSU was down 13 points early on.
However, there is one thing Michigan State fans should keep an eye on: the Spartans came back with Joshua Langford playing point guard (ended with five assists) and Aaron Henry in the post.
Both team captains did enough to bring MSU back within four points of the lead at halftime.
The Spartans were whistled for four fouls immediately after the break, and Julius Marble, who received his first start, went to the bench for an extended breather after picking up his fourth.
Indiana went back into the post, finding success with Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson, going on an 8-3 run – extending their lead to double-digits.
At the 13:00 minute mark, Kithier still hadn't checked during the second half; he's the only Spartan who managed to contain IU's big men.
Fortunately, Michigan State made four of their last five shots (11:48 left) and began shrinking the Hoosier advantage (44-48).
MSU didn't stop there; Langford scored eight straight points, including the game-tying bucket, before Henry attacked the lane for two points; then Kithier found Gabe Brown in the corner for a 3-pointer to complete an 18-2 Spartan run and a 57-52 lead.
Henry, who finished with 27-points (tying his career-high), stole the ball on a pass into the post, starting the break, and setting up a massive dunk for Bingham – MSU increases its lead to eight.
The Spartans matched Indiana's intensity and physicality with less than two minutes remaining, outlasting the Hoosiers and closing the door on a comeback.
A gutsy performance helps Michigan State overcome IU at Assembly Hall for their fifth victory in Big Ten play.
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