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Michigan State 72, Indiana 58: better effort, same result.

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Here's the box score.

When Christian Watford scored the first basket of the game, the 2-0 lead was IU's first lead since the Purdue game.  IU last tied the game with around 10 minutes left in the first half, meaning that IU was competitive for a quarter of the game.  It's sad to cling to that as some sign of improvement, but that's where this program is.  As expected, MSU dominated the boards--but only at one end of the court.  MSU grabbed 11 offensive rebounds to IU's 13 defensive rebounds.  On their own end, IU managed 17 offensive boards to 13 defensive boards by MSU.  Of course, some is this is a function of IU's 34 percent shooting, but the Hoosiers did manage to hang in on the offensive boards and got more second chance points than MSU (21-14).  Also, keeping this from being a really ugly score, IU shot 25-28 from the line.  Unfortunately, IU's turnover problems continued: 16 in a game that was below 60 possessions if my early morning math is correct. 

Individual performances:

  • Verdell Jones III continues to play well, scoring 20 points on 9 attempts.
  • Christian Watford scored 14 on 9 attempts.
  • Jeremiah Rivers continued to struggle: 1-5 from the field, 3 turnovers, but he was 2-2 from the line. 

IU assisted only 5 of its meager 15 field goals.  So, what next?  IU heads to the Barn this weekend, then hosts Wisconsin during the week, and then heads to Iowa.  Minnesota is struggling, but Williams Arena is always a tough environment.  We'll see.