Michigan State ran into a Bloomington buzzsaw, falling 80-61 to Indiana Saturday night. The Spartans have lost two in a row and now sit at 20-5 overall and 8-4 in fourth place in conference.
In a primetime game on ESPN, the Spartans appeared to be in the driver's seat early in Assembly Hall. Drew Neitzel scored 10 points and MSU built an 11-point lead with 13:34 left in the first half. Things quickly changed.
A resilient Indiana squad battled back to tie the game and took a 29-26 lead before disaster appeared to hit the Hoosiers with 4:47 remaining in the half. Star forward D.J. White left the game injured and the Spartans appeared to have an advantage.
But MSU seemed to struggle even more without having to account for White, mishandling the ball in another wearingly regular turnover filled game. The Spartans finished the game with 19 turnovers and 21 field goals.
Neitzel stood out for the Spartans in 36 minutes of play. He scored 21 on 7 of 16 shooting, including 3 of 7 from 3-point land.
Eric Gordon paced IU with 28 points, breaking the all-time scoring record for Hoosier freshman. He shot 9 of 15 from the field and 8 of 9 from the free throw line.
In addition to turnovers, Michigan State displayed defensive lapses and failed to solve Indiana's zone defense. The Spartans were outscored 76-46 after opening up their 11-point lead.
The Spartans have now lost three of their last four games and are tied with Ohio State in fourth place. They trail conference leader Purdue by three-and-a-half games.
Michigan State will attempt to put the demoralizing week behind them and atone for a past loss with a Wednesday night home matchup against Penn State.
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