If the Hoosiers were feeling good about themselves after a road win at Nebraska on New Year's Eve, you received a heavy dose of reality in East Lansing on Monday night.
The Hoosiers (11-4, 1-1 Big Ten) scored only 17 points in the first half on 17.9 percent shooting. Only Yogi Ferrell and Emmitt Holt made field goals for IU in the half. Every other player shot a combined 0-of-19. Indiana trailed by as many as 30 points in the second half.
For Indiana, the numbers are all ugly:
**The Hoosiers shot just 28 percent from the field (17-of-60) and 21 percent from beyond the arc (5-of-24). They entered the game shooting nearly 50 percent on the season.
**Freshman James Blackmon Jr. was a dismal 1-of-14 from the field and 0-of-5 from 3-point range.
**Indiana's starting four and five men -- Troy Williams and Hanner Mosquera-Perea -- combined for 0 points on 0-of-3 shooting. Neither guy played much in the second half.
Yogi Ferrell was the only Indiana player to score in double figures, finishing with 17 points on 6-of-16 shooting.
Denzel Valentine led the Spartans with 15 points, and Branden Dawson added 14 points and 13 rebounds. Gavin Schilling had 10 points and nine rebounds. The Spartans outrebounded Indiana 50-26, including 17-10 on the offensive glass.
After an encouraging start to the conference season with a win over Nebraska, the Hoosiers had an opportunity to make a statement to the rest of the Big Ten that they belong among the conference's elite. They failed to make that statement. And while splitting road games with Nebraska and Michigan State is ultimately a success, the way in which they lost to the Spartans leaves a nasty taste that IU must quickly get rid of against Ohio State.
Monday night turned out to be the worst possible scenario for the Hoosiers. Michigan State desperately needed a win and played one of its most inspired games of the season, and Indiana didn't show up.