With Indiana riding a seven game losing streak, the Breslin Center seemed like a highly unlikely place for the Hoosiers to return to their early season winning ways. The odds makers agreed, slotting IU as a 14.5 point underdog against No. 6 Michigan State.
After an injury to All-Big Ten senior captain Juwan Morgan, what had once seemed unlikely looked impossible. Morgan hurt his left shoulder diving for a loose ball in the first half.
Some how, some way, in the face of so much adversity and a month long run of poor play and misfortune, Indiana persevered.
While Morgan was lost for the rest of the game, the return of juniors Devonte Green and De’Ron Davis energized the Hoosiers as they pulled off a stunning victory in overtime and ended their misery.
The Hoosiers (13-9, 4-7) return to action on Thursday night at home against Iowa.
THREE KEYS TO THE GAME
A Much Sharper Offense. Indiana’s offense was spread out and had much better passing. Nothing exemplifies this better than IU’s 21 assists on the game. The Hoosiers had just 11 assists combined in the previous two contests. Indiana was able to find driving lanes and find shooters in the rhythm of the offense. While the overall field goal percentage was still just 39%, the Hoosiers hit 10 of 20 from long range as the Hoosiers stepped into shots from passes rather than off the dribble.
No Big Runs. During the seven game losing streak, IU had allowed runs by the opposition in each game that swung the margin by 16 or more points. Indiana never allowed MSU to gain any meaningful momentum or separation in this one. The three-point shots that had eluded them for so long came at timely moments in East Lansing on Saturday night. Indiana hit several big perimeter shots when it felt like the Spartans might be gaining the edge.
IU Won the Rebounding Battle. Michigan State is one of the best rebounding teams in the country. Juwan Morgan is Indiana’s leading rebounder. Indiana outrebounded MSU 48-40. Wrap your mind around that. What did it come down to? A sustained team effort. IU had five players with five or more rebounds as everyone chipped in including the guards. The Spartans did still manage 14 offensive rebounds, but the Hoosiers kept grinding away and it finally paid off with a big win.
FINAL BOX SCORE AND SPECIALTY STATS
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