Michigan State prepares for road challenge against Indiana


Mardekia Cook attempts a shot over Nebraska forward Isabelle Bourne/Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Liam Jackson, Baseball Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING – The Michigan State Spartans head to Bloomington to face the No. 16 Indiana Hoosiers Sunday. MSU is coming off a blowout loss at the hands of the No. 7 Maryland Terrapins and is looking to end their road trip with a bounce back performance. The game is set to tip at 4:30 p.m. at Assembly Hall.

The Hoosiers four-game winning streak was brought to an end Thursday at the hands of Ohio State, bringing their record to 9-4 overall and 7-2 in the Big Ten. They currently sit at fourth in the conference.

MSU has an overall record of 9-3 and a conference record of 4-3 which is good for seventh in the Big Ten. Since COVID-19 issues forced the Spartans to postpone three straight games, they have gone 1-1 in their return.

Suzy Merchant and Nia Clouden commemorate Clouden scoring 1,000 career points/Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Sunday’s game between the Hoosiers and Spartans will be the first between the two teams this season. Indiana was scheduled to travel to the Breslin Center on Jan. 21, but the game was postponed. 

The overall series between these two teams is led by MSU 48-29. The Spartans also have a 21-16 record in Bloomington, with their last win in Assembly Hall coming back in 2017. Lately, Indiana has had the better of MSU, winning three of the last four matchups. 

Indiana’s only losses this season have been against teams who are currently ranked in the top 25 (Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland, and Ohio State). The Hoosiers are a tough team to play, as they do not make many mistakes. 

They are the only team in the Big Ten who have a higher assist-turnover ratio than MSU. They also are fourth in the entire nation in fewest turnovers a game at only 10.8 per game.

Moira Joiner (Photo: Ian Gilmour / WDBM)

The Spartans will be tasked with trying to score on one of the top defenses in the Big Ten. Indiana is second in the conference in scoring defense, only allowing an impressive 57.8 points per game. 

Indiana is led by Sophomore forward Mackenzie Holmes. She leads the Hoosiers with 17.8 points per game and 7.2 rebounds per game. Holmes also averages a ridiculous 2.9 blocks per game which is second in the Big Ten to help anchor their stout defense.

If the Spartans want to bounce back after their worst loss of the season, they will have to look to their point guard and All Big Ten leader, Nia Clouden. Clouden leads MSU in points, assists, and steals. She also helps out the offense by getting into the paint and drawing fouls. Her 4.8 free throw attempts per game are also a team high.

Sunday’s game is one of the biggest of the season for MSU, especially after the performance they turned in against Maryland. A ranked win over the Hoosiers to cap off a three game road trip would generate much needed momentum before coming back home to start the final stretch of the regular season.

Follow Liam Jackson on Twitter @Liamjackson1525.