Michigan State boosts NCAA hopes with 64-58 win over Indiana

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Aaron Henry had 18 of his 22 points in the second half, leading Michigan State to a 64-58 win over Indiana on Tuesday night in a matchup of teams on the bubble to play in the NCAA Tournament.

The Spartans (14-10, 8-10 Big Ten) broke a ninth-place tie in the highly touted conference with the Hoosiers (12-13, 7-11) in a possibly pivotal game for their postseason hopes.

Michigan State’s Joshua Langford scored 13 points and Gabe Brown added 10 points for a team that has won four of its last five games.

Rob Phinisee scored 16 points and was Indiana’s only player in double figures.

Trayce Jackson-Davis was held to a season-low nine points and matched a career low by making only one shot on five attempts. The sophomore forward scored a career-high 34 points in the last game against Michigan State and averages nearly 20 points a game.

Indiana has lost four in a row and five of its last six games. The late-season slide has hurt the Hoosiers chances of going to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2016 when former coach Tom Crean helped them earn a bid for a fourth time in five seasons.

Michigan State greatly improved its chances of playing beyond the Big Ten Tournament by beating then-No. 5 Illinois and then-No. 4 Ohio State last week at home. Those desperately needed quality wins followed a victory against the Hoosiers on the road.

Henry matched a career high with 27 points in the previous meeting, leading Michigan State to a 78-71 comeback win at Indiana less than two weeks ago. That victory was a third Quadrant 1 win this season for a team hoping to close a shaky season strong enough to play in a 23rd straight NCAA Tournament.

Henry did not pick up where he left off against the Hoosiers, starting 0 of 5 and scoring just four points in the first half.

In the end, though, he made plays at both ends of the court to help Michigan State outlast Indiana.

BIG PICTURE

Indiana: Embattled coach Archie Miller has been unable to stop a slump that has given the team a losing record in his fourth season in charge of the once-proud program.

Michigan State: It was not pretty, but the Spartans did enough to win a game that boosts their chances of extending their NCAA Tournament streak in a shaky season that included a COVID-19 outbreak.

UGLY BEYOND THE ARC

Michigan State was 4 of 17 on 3-pointers and Indiana connected on just 2 of 20 shots beyond the arc.

INJURY REPORT

Indiana: Sophomore guard Armaan Franklin missed a second straight game after injuring his right foot in the first half against Rutgers.

Michigan State: Junior guard Foster Loyer had shoulder surgery on Monday, likely ending his season.

UP NEXT

Indiana ends the regular season on the road against rival and 23rd-ranked Purdue on Saturday afternoon.

Michigan State closes the regular season against rival and second- ranked Michigan on the road Thursday night and hosts the Wolverines on Sunday.

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Follow Larry Lage at https://twitter.com/larrylage

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