BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – It wasn’t the start or the finish. This time, the middle section of Michigan State basketball proved the Spartans’ downfall. And maybe a little fatigue too.
In a run-packed game, Indiana got the biggest and most current — an 18-4 burst midway through the second half — to pull away from MSU to a chippy 82-69 victory on Sunday at Assembly Hall.
It was the sixth game in 16 days for the Spartans (13-7, 5-4 Big Ten), a game every third day since a home win over Michigan on January 7. MSU will get an extra day off before hosting Iowa on Thursday at Breslin Center in East Lansing (7 p.m./FS1).
Joey Hauser led the Spartans with 22 points and grabbed six rebounds. Jaden Akins scored 15 points, AJ Hoggard added 11, and Jaxon Kohler had nine points and six rebounds.
Trayce Jackson-Davis finished with 31 points and 15 rebounds for Indiana (13-6, 4-4), which shot 54.2% in the second half. Trey Galloway added 17 points and Tamar Bates had 17, including five 3-pointers.
Hauser’s hot half
The first half had some drama and a lot of back and forth basketball.
After back-to-back lethargic starts, the Spartans came out strong, with Hauser attacking early with a 3-pointer and a driving layup.
Mady Sissoko, who also scored in the first two minutes, ran into trouble near midcourt when Miller Kopp knocked him down. Kopp got a flagrant foul that muffled the crowd buzz that arose when Trey Galloway hit two three-pointers to briefly put the Hoosiers ahead seconds earlier. Sissoko made both free throws, then Hauser hit a floater for four-point possession. Another driving Hauser layup forced IU coach Mike Woodson to burn a timeout to stop the Spartans’ 10–0 run.
MSU went up 21-14 on a Hoggard free throw, but he got his second foul less than a minute later and sat the final 8:17 of the half. A pair of Walker buckets extended the Spartans’ lead to nine, then it was the turn of the Hoosiers for a run.
Izzo called timeout on a Jackson-Davis layup. Then, after a Hauser miss, the Indiana star beat Hauser in transition, took a pass over the top, threw down a dunk and stared forward into the MSU. It ended up being a 10-0 Hoosiers run. To give them back a one-point lead, and they further extended it with an 11–0 run before the Spartans cut it back to a 37–32 halftime deficit in the final minute.
Hauser had 14 points at the break, made 5 of 9 shots, and grabbed four rebounds in his 17 minutes.
MSU came out of halftime, gave up a pair of free throws to fall behind by seven, then went on for another blistering run with some more jaws and a double technical foul for Hauser and IU’s Jordan Geronimo. Akins hit a 3-pointer, ended a 3-on-2 break with a layup, then got a steal and raced to a dunk as part of a 12-3 comeback to regain a two-point lead, 44-42, with 15 :52 to play.
Both teams traded buckets for the next 2 1/2 minutes, with Akins’ 3-pointer from a Hauser pump fake and pass giving the Spartans their final advantage at 51-49 with 13:32 left. Everything is sent sour from there.
MSU went into an offensive funk, missing six consecutive shots and going scoreless for 7 1/2 minutes, as Bates bombed away from the outside. He started and ended Indiana’s knockout run with three-pointers, his third in that stretch from well behind the arch in Walker’s face.
Jackson-Davis then went to work and exhausted MSU. He had 18 points and nine boards after the break, while Galloway scored 11.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan State basketball out of game in second half at Indiana, 82-69