Written by Caleb Wojcik
I just got back from the Breslin Center and I swear that the team I watched beat the Indiana Hoosiers 87-73 was completely different from the team that loss at Illinois and Wisconsin . Michigan State got back to basics by out-rebounding the Indiana Hoosiers 24-18. The Spartans also out-shot Indiana by five percent.Â But what stood out the most was Izzoâ€™s players being better prepared and outplaying Indiana.
What started off as a neck and neck game in the first half, turned into to a Spartan controlled second half after a 10-0 MSU run. Maurice Ager, who scored only 20 points in the Illinois and Wisconsin road games combined, put up 28 points, including four three-pointers. Paul Davis added 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to give MSU the 87-73 -win. However, the difference-maker of the game was the play of the other Michigan State big men.
To beat the Hoosiers, the first priority was shutting down Marco Killingsworth. While he did score 26 points, four inside men for the Spartans played excellent against him on both ends of the court. Matt Trannon, Marquise Gray and Idong Ibok were left to guard Killingsworth while Davis spent most of the game covering Robert Vaden. Trannon scored a career-high 11 points, while Gray added 8. None of the Spartan big men got into foul trouble and they all played well in the post against Killingsworth by making him fight every point he got.
This was a big win for the Spartans against a top-10 team.Â If nothing else, this victory gave them confidence for Saturdayâ€™s game against the sixteenth-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus . Now, only time can tell if confidence is enough to grab another Big Ten victory.