Michigan St. holds off Indiana’s late rally 74-72
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – Travis Trice scored 18 of his 21 points in the second half Saturday as Michigan State barely staved off Indiana’s frantic rally 74-72.
The Spartans (21-10, 11-6) have won two straight and six of eight as they try to earn the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten tournament.
Indiana (19-12, 9-9) continued its recent swoon by losing its third in a row. Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell had 21 points and James Blackmon Jr. added 17.
Michigan State appeared to have it wrapped up with a 67-56 lead and 3:42 to go.
Indiana got within 72-69 with 27.4 seconds left and twice had chances to force overtime.
But Michigan State fouled Blackmon before he could take a 3-pointer, and after Trice missed the second of two free throws, Ferrell was fouled in the backcourt but only made 1 of 2 free throws. Zeisloft’s 40-court heave at the buzzer was short.
The Spartans mostly did it to themselves with poor decisions and by missing six free throws in final 1:53.
For Indiana, it was a frustrating conclusion in its home finale.
This time, though, the undersized Hoosiers fought hard for 40 minutes.
They challenged Michigan State inside, tried to challenge shots and went toe-to-toe. And just when it looked like Michigan State had put it away with a 10-5 run to take the biggest lead of the game, Indiana charged back with six straight points.
They made a four-point game when Blackmon scored on a layup with 37.9 seconds to play. They cut the lead to 70-69 on Nick Zeisloft’s 3 with 27.4 seconds left. And Ferrell, the Hoosiers best free-throw shooter, had a chance to tie it with two seconds remaining but he missed the second and the Spartans survived.
Michigan State: The Spartans were missing their top rebounder, Branden Dawson. The northern Indiana native got hit in the head in Wednesday’s victory over Purdue and couldn’t finish that game.
Indiana: The Hoosiers didn’t hold a Senior Day celebration because there are no seniors on the roster. Instead, Indiana honored the seniors from the 1974-75 team that went 18-0 in Big Ten play and was undefeated until losing in the regional finals to rival Kentucky after Scott May, a starter, broke his arm.
Michigan State travels to Chicago for Big Ten tournament against unknown opponent.
Indiana travels to Chicago for Big Ten tournament against unknown opponent.