Indiana suffered a loss on Saturday that damaged their NCAA Tournament hopes, falling to the Michigan State Spartans by a score of 78-71.
The Hoosiers, who entered the game as 6.5-point favorites, let the second half get away from them as they lost to the Spartans, who improved to 11-9. IU faces a tough stretch to end the season, with trips to Rutgers (Wednesday), Michigan State and Purdue, as well as the final home game vs. Michigan.
Here are some notes, numbers, and trends from the loss to Michigan State:
- Indiana was powered by Trayce Jackson-Davis in this game, as he scored a career-high 34 points. Jackson-Davis dominated inside and made 12 of 16 from the line. It was an incredible performance, and unfortunate that it was in vain.
- The game marked the second 30-point performance from Jackson-Davis after he poured in 31 points against Stanford in the final game of the 2020 Maui Invitational. His 34-point performance is the most points scored by a Hoosier since Juwan Morgan netted 35 points against Butler on Dec. 15, 2018.
- IU got 15 points from Race Thompson and 13 from Armaan Franklin. Jackson-Davis, Thompson, and Franklin combined for 62 points on 23/38 shooting. The rest of the team combined for nine points on 2/19 shooting.
- Thompson recorded seven steals on the day, which ties him with four others for the fourth best single game steal total in IU history along with OG Anunoby, Jim Crews and William Gladness.
- Michigan State scored 40 points in the paint to Indiana’s 38. While this was essentially a wash, Indiana had the two best bigs in the game by far. Most of Michigan State’s points in the paint came from guard penetration, an issue that has plagued the Hoosiers’ backcourt all season.
- Despite a second-half in which they scored 41 points on 56 percent shooting, Indiana gave the game away in the final period. Why? Because Michigan State was that much better offensively. The Spartans scored 52 points on 57 percent shooting and made five threes to IU’s two.
- Indiana was looking to make it four straight against Michigan State, a mark that had not been reached since the early 1980’s. That one will have to wait.
- Outside of Armaan Franklin, the Indiana guards combined for four points, all from Al Durham at the free throw line, on 0-14 shooting.
- For the fifth straight time Durham scored in single-digits following a game where he scored in double figures.
- Rob Phinisee has scored three or fewer points in four of the last six games.
- More on Jackson-Davis’ big-time performance: the big man drew 13 personal fouls against Michigan State players and had an absurd 40 percent usage rate. The Spartans refused to double and Trayce took advantage. He established or matched career-highs in field goals attempted, field goals made, free throws attempted and free throws made. TJD has tallied at least 20 points in a game on 13 occasions this season (19 career).
- IU lost the rebounding battle 36-29 and have allowed 12 or more offensive rebounds in three straight games.
- It was another game where the freshmen struggled or didn’t play. They combined for 20 minutes and zero points. Jordan Geronimo was this game’s lone scholarship player (who wasn’t injured) to not get into the game.
- Indiana isn’t out of the tournament picture just yet, but their margin for error is gone. This is still KenPom’s 31st-ranked team. However, this loss is a bad one, as it counts as a Quad Four loss in the NET system. They’ll likely have to take two of their final four, three of which come against KenPom top-30 teams, and the other against Michigan State.
- After the first ten minutes, the Spartans were under .5 points per possession, a staggeringly low number. MSU finished at 1.182 points per possession, a testament to just how bad IU’s defense was down the stretch. Archie Miller said it best: “I look at the second half as a complete bust on defense.”
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