The Izzone was rocking as the Spartans started off the Big Ten season against No. 15 Indiana. The Hoosiers came into the Breslin Center as one of the only undefeated teams left in the country. Michigan State was out to end that streak and start the Big Ten season off with a win.
The Spartans came out looking to set the tone by playing physical and beating the Hoosiers to loose balls. They did just that, jumping out quickly and cruising to a lead of 18. But Indiana wasn’t going to sit back and let this happen to them.
Christian Watford started to take control off the bench, hitting from short and long range. Indiana fought back to take control of a game in which it looked like the Spartan’s were going to run away.
Tom Izzo wasn’t happy with how his team was playing, and looked to his point guard Keith Appling to get the team going. Appling sparked the Spartans with some key plays that led to a 20-0 second-half run. He put in a career-high 25 points, added six rebounds and five assists. Michigan State had four players in double figures and shot 54.7 percent from the field.
Defense was the key to the Spartan’s victory, as Indiana had a hard time getting open shots. The Hoosiers were held to 20 points below their season average. Cody Zeller was held to four points—he’s been averaging 15 on the season. Derrick Nix and Adreian Payne seemed to give Zeller a lot of problems and only allowed him to get off five shots.
This was a huge win for a young Spartans team that has been on a roll since losing its opening two games to North Carolina and Duke.
Let’s see if they can keep this streak going as they hit the road for the next two games.