Michigan State started 2014 on the right foot Saturday, defeating the Indiana Hoosiers 73-56 in Bloomington, Ind.
The Spartans received a career performance from Gary Harris, who continued his impressive play in Assembly Hall, scoring a career high 26 points. Keith Appling joined Harris in double figures, scoring all 14 of his points in the second half after early foul trouble.
Adreian Payne also struggled to stay out of foul trouble, scoring only four points and grabbing five rebounds. Branden Dawson picked up the slack, pouring in 13 points on 6-7 shooting.
Indiana battled throughout the game, especially early, and kept the game close for most of the first half. Michigan State began to pull away at the end of the half with a 9-0 run to close the quarter leading 33-24.
The Spartans opened the second half with a 7-1 run. The Hoosiers fought to keep the game within reach, but were never able to get the lead down to less than eight.
Michigan State shot about 48 percent from the floor while holding Indiana to just under 40 percent.
MSU plays in its Big Ten home opener against the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes on Tuesday, Jan. 7 at 9 p.m.
Andrew Hayes is the host of Impact Izzone for Impact Sports.
Photo: David Defever