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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student


Spartans get their revenge

Michigan State defense, rebounding cripple Haston, IU inside attack

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Junior center Kirk Haston is the leading scorer in the Big Ten and the Hoosiers' go-to man. He's interim head coach Mike Davis' choice for Big Ten Player of the Year and one of the top post players in the conference. Michigan State coach Tom Izzo recruited Haston and called him the most improved player this season.\nBut it takes more than one man to defeat No. 5 Michigan State, especially when he's playing with four fouls and held scoreless for the last 19 minutes of regulation.\nHaston, who picked up his fourth foul with 8:01 remaining, wasn't enough to overcome the Spartans Tuesday, as IU (16-11, 7-6 Big Ten) fell 66-57 to Michigan State (21-3, 10-3) before a Breslin Center crowd of 14,759. The win extended the Spartans' home winning streak to 43 -- the longest in the nation. It also gave MSU revenge from when IU broke the Spartans' 23-game winning streak Feb. 7 in Assembly Hall.\n"I'm not disappointed in this basketball team; I'm not disappointed in their effort," Davis said. "Tonight (Michigan State) played defense the way they did last year, and that really affected us. We could've easily lost by 35 the way they were playing."\nIt was Haston who nailed a three-pointer at the buzzer Feb. 7, giving IU a 59-58 win against the then-No. 1 Spartans. But Tuesday, the Hoosiers were far from a three-point desperation shot, despite Haston's team-leading 18 points.\nIU was down 12 points with 4:56 remaining. Haston, the only Hoosier to score in double digits, fouled out with two minutes left on the clock. And foul trouble was only the beginning for IU. The Hoosiers' lack of depth didn't help. IU was out-rebounded by 15 in the first half, and Michigan State's defense, which gave IU's inside game trouble, was stifling. The Hoosiers attempted seven shots inside the key.\nSophomore guard Tom Coverdale picked up his fourth foul with 14:47 remaining. Freshman forward Jared Jeffries had three with 13:32 left, and junior guard Dane Fife left the first half with two fouls and 17:08 remaining. \nWith Fife on the bench, the Hoosiers dug themselves into a 33-23 halftime deficit. Freshman center Zach Randolph came off the bench and scored six points in an eight-point Spartan run, giving Michigan State an early 15-6 lead. The Spartans held IU to nine points in the first eight minutes.\nOne of the main differences was productivity from Michigan State's bench, which scored 30 percent (20 points) of the Spartans' offense. Randolph led Michigan State in the first half with nine points. The IU bench scored six first-half points. Haston scored the other 15.\nJeffries, who was held to two points in the first half, was assigned to cover Randolph, who finished with 14 points and nine rebounds. \n"The first game (Feb. 7) the post was a lot more open, but this time, they did a better job of sagging in and having their guards help out," Jeffries said. "Randolph dominated the game inside."\nIU came out on the offensive in the second half, scoring eight consecutive points in the first two minutes to close the gap to 35-31. The Hoosiers would inch within four two more times in the second half, but that was as close as they could get. Michigan State began an 11-2 run at the 9:30 mark when sophomore Jason Richardson sank a free throw. \nThe Spartans had their biggest lead of the game with 2:57 remaining when Randolph hit two free throws to put MSU ahead 63-49. Michigan State went to the free-throw line 31 times compared to IU's nine trips. The Hoosiers were held to 35 percent shooting from the field on 21-of-60.\nThree games remain in the regular season: Wisconsin, Minnesota and Purdue. Fife said the back-to-back losses to Illinois and Michigan State will not be easily forgotten.\n"We need to dwell on these last two losses, because we should've won the games," Fife said. "Coming into the game, we were confident we could win. We're going to take a day off, and then we have to play Wisconsin, and that's a game we need to win. But I'm not looking forward to Wisconsin for a few days, because these last few games we should've won"

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