Spartans Battle Back to Beat Hoosiers

Gary Harris proved Tuesday night why he is highly regarded as a top 10 pick in the NBA draft next year. Harris helped lead the Spartans to a 71-66 win against Indiana University.

Harris only had four points at halftime, but exploded in the second half, finishing the game with 24 points and five steals. Harris shot 8-13 from the floor and 4-6 from three point range. He did not miss a free throw.

“What an incredible performance by him,” Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said. “He’s the most efficient player right now, maybe in college basketball.”

The game was close throughout, featuring 13 ties and 15 lead changes.

Early in the game, Indiana killed Michigan State down low. Noah Vonleh of Indiana had the Hoosiers’ first five points and finished the game with 13 points and just as many rebounds.

Indiana led 28-27 at the half, but never led by more than five in the game.

MSU started their comeback mid-way through the second half when they held the Hoosiers to only free throws for about seven minutes.

During that stretch, Branden Dawson had an impressive run where he scored five points and grabbed four rebounds, two of which were on the offensive glass. Dawson finished the game with 13 points and one rebound short of a double-double.

The Spartans had four players in double figures. Travis Trice and Denzel Valentine each had 10 points, joining Dawson and Harris in double digits.

MSU struggled on the boards without Adreian Payne. IU out-rebounded Michigan State 33-28.

The lack of Payne combined with foul trouble from Matt Costello, Alex Gauna and Gavin Schilling forced Izzo at one point to play the 6-foot-6 Dawson at the center position for the final 4:41 of the first half.

The teams combined for 32 turnovers, 18 by Indiana and 14 by Michigan State.

Hoosier sophomore Yogi Ferrell had a team high 19 points on 4-13 shooting.

The Spartans’ next game is Saturday as they welcome the University of Michigan to East Lansing at 7 p.m.

Andrew Hayes is the host of Impact Izzone for Impact Sports.

Photo: David Defever/Impact Sports

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