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Sunday, April 14
The Indiana Daily Student

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No. 17 Indiana men’s basketball falls 80-65 as Michigan State rides emotional homecoming

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Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said he hoped his team could give Spartan fans a two-hour escape on the court Tuesday night. 

With No. 17 Indiana men’s basketball coming to town just over a week after a shooting on Michigan State’s campus killed three students and injured five more, the Spartans rode the energy and emotion of the crowd to an 80-65 victory. 

“Izzo’s teams play great. They play hard,” head coach Mike Woodson said after the game. “I thought we came out playing well early, but as the game wore on, they smashed us.” 

Michigan State made its return home to the Breslin Center and looked to perimeter offense all night. Indiana was often out of position, allowing 10 3-pointers, the most since Penn State hit 18 on Jan. 11

Behind senior guard Tyson Walker, who scored 23 points, the Spartans overcame the Hoosiers’ fast start. Junior guard A.J. Hoggard added 22 points almost entirely on layups and free throws and created a matchup problem for Indiana all night. Indiana senior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis repeatedly switched to defend Hoggard when Indiana’s guards were screened, and Jackson-Davis failed to pick up a block on any of Hoggard’s shots in just his third blockless game of the year.  

“I thought their guard had their way against our guards,” Woodson said. “Walker and Hoggard, they were great, and we couldn’t overcome it.” 

Jackson-Davis looked mortal for the first time in the Big Ten schedule. In eight of Indiana’s last nine games Jackson-Davis played at least 37 minutes, and his fatigue showed up throughout the game Tuesday.  

Despite still putting up a more-than-respectable stat line of 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists, he was far from his normal self, missing five shots, grabbing just one offensive rebound and turning the ball over a career-high seven times. 

Woodson said the performance didn’t just boil down to Jackson-Davis' off night. 

“It’s not just Trayce,” Woodson said. “When you get outrebounded like we did, and (get beat on) 50-50 balls and second chances, that’s everybody, not just Trayce.” 

While the Hoosiers have, on average, outrebounded their opponents by 4.5 boards, Michigan State had 33 rebounds to Indiana’s 24 on Tuesday night. The Spartans’ 10 offensive rebounds doubled up the Hoosiers and led to 13 second chance points. 

Woodson pulled Jackson-Davis with three minutes left in the game, metaphorically waving the white flag, while junior guard Anthony Leal came in for four minutes. It was the second time he played at least four minutes all season, and he scored his first points of the year on two free throws. 

Leal and freshman guard CJ Gunn, who also added two free throws, contributed the majority of Indiana’s bench points, despite playing a combined six minutes. Freshman forward Malik Reneau scored 2 points as well, while sophomore guard Tamar Bates and junior forward Jordan Geronimo — two players who have been big parts of Indiana’s rotation all season — were scoreless nonfactors. 

“We’ve been pretty decent at home, but we’ve struggled on the road coming off the bench,” Woodson said. “We’ve got to figure that out as we continue this journey, because eventually you’re going to have to go out on the road and win a game.” 

Indiana’s Tuesday loss was its second in three games and the Hoosiers, 10-7 and in third place in the Big Ten, now stand just half a game ahead of six 9-7 teams. Indiana’s week wraps up with an even tougher opponent — first place and No. 5-ranked Purdue on Saturday in West Lafayette. 

Follow reporters Evan Gerike (@EvanGerike) and Emma Pawlitz (@emmapawlitz) and columnist Bradley Hohulin (@BradleyHohulin) for updates throughout the Indiana men’s basketball season. 
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