As Michigan State went on a 22-6 run to close out Indiana, the bench was happy, cheering their teammates on, and the Spartans as a whole found something to celebrate in a season where things haven't gone their way.
For a team that entered the game 4-9 in Big Ten play and had lost back-to-back contests to Iowa and Purdue, the outcome provided a sense of relief.
"We're fed up with losing, fed up with being short, with not being prepared coming into games," junior captain Aaron Henry said. "We started out that way today, and I didn't want it to be like that, especially in front of my parents … I didn't want to go out like that today."
Henry, an Indiana native, led the way with 27 points, five boards, two assists, one block, and one steal while earning his first victory in his home state.
However, like most games this season, the Spartans fell behind by nine with 12 minutes left in the second half; only now, MSU drained 10 of 12 shots giving themselves a chance.
Joshua Langford, Michigan State's only senior, said his team emphasized staying consistent and remaining together.
"It would have been easy for us to throw in the towel when they made that run early on in the first half," said Langford. "To everybody's credit, we stayed solid, and we kept the right attitude. Attitude is not necessarily about you not feeling something, but it's about you controlling that response."
The Spartans aren't finished; with six games left, defeating four ranked opponents won't be easy; yet, it's their only path to the NCAA Tournament.
"One game at a time, that's our mindset going in," Henry said. "We have to really approach it like that and not just say it."
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