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Monday, June 24
The Indiana Daily Student

sports men's basketball

FINAL: IU 72, Michigan State 68

EAST LANSING, Mich.-Victor Oladipo couldn’t have picked a better time to reach 1,000 points for his IU career.

With 47 seconds left and the Hoosiers down one, the junior guard was still searching for his 14th point on the night, which would push him over the 1,000-point threshold for his IU career.

After nine points in the first half, Oladipo had scored just four points since 4:32 left in the first period.

He found himself right underneath the basket as freshman guard Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell missed a jumper, and Oladipo gently tipped it in for his 1,001st point as well as the IU lead.

He scored the final six points for IU to dig the No. 1 Hoosiers out of a late deficit and vault them to a 72-68 win over No. 4 Michigan State Tuesday at the Breslin Center.

Coming into the game, all eyes were centered on Oladipo and sophomore Cody Zeller as they inched close to the 1,000-point milestone for their IU careers.

Seniors guard Jordan Hulls and forward Christian Watford had already surpassed the mark, but until Tuesday, no IU team had ever had four active players with at least 1,000 points on the same roster.

Zeller left little to chance in his run to 1,000, scoring six of IU’s first eight points early on.

His first two buckets came inside over Michigan State’s Derek Nix. Nix made headlines late last week, making comments to local reporters that he felt his team wasn’t getting enough respect and that Zeller and Oladipo were nothing special.

Oladipo led the Hoosiers with 19 points, followed by Zeller with 17, letting their games do the talking.

Zeller hit his mark with a long jumper with 15:23 left in the half, but from there on, he would go dry from the field for the rest of the half, adding just two more free throws to end the first 20 minutes with eight points.

Oladipo picked up right where Zeller left off, hitting IU’s third 3-pointer of the half with 9:48 left in the half to boost IU’s lead to 21-16 after the Hoosiers had fallen behind by three early on.

Michigan State battled back to within three points before four-straight Oladipo points bolstered a 7-2 IU run to give IU its largest lead of the half at 32-24.

IU went into the locker room ahead 36-30.

But early on in the second half, Zeller wasted little time getting back on the board. He answered a quick layup from Michigan State’s Branden Dawson with a drive from beyond the 3-point line to keep IU up six.

Zeller grabbed an assist off a pass to Hulls, setting up a 3-pointer to put IU back up seven as the Hoosiers and the Spartans traded buckets early on in the second half.

He gave IU it’s largest lead in the second half with a layup with 16:04 left to put IU up 45-38. From there on, though, Michigan State began to catch some traction.

Outside another Hulls 3-pointer, the Spartans clamped down on IU’s offense, scoring 11 of the game’s next 14 points to take their first lead since early on the first half at 49-48.

IU fought right back with a run of its own. Ignited by a 3-point play from Zeller and a conventional 3-point play from Hulls, the Hoosiers took back the lead, up 57-51 with 9:49 left.

Michigan State’s Adreian Payne came right back with his own run, scoring seven-straight points, taking back the lead and the momentum as Michigan State led 60-59 with 6:27 left in the game.

The Hoosier offense continued to struggle. Oladipo was the only Hoosier to score during Payne’s run, giving him 13 for the night, just one point shy of the 1,000 mark as Michigan State slipped ahead once again, 60-59.

Nix added two layups, but freshman Gary Harris hit 1-of-2 free throws as Michigan State led 67-63 with just 1:38 remaining.

A 3-point play from Watford got the Hoosiers within just a single point, but Oladipo proved to be the difference with the game on the line in the waning moments.

The Spartans managed just two Harrris free throws in the final two minutes, as Oladipo scored the final six points for the Hoosiers to seal the four-point victory.

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