In the regular season finale against Indiana, the Michigan State Spartans looked to gain some momentum going into next week’s Big Ten Tournament in Chicago. Spartans head coach Tom Izzo decided to play it safe with star forward and double-double machine Branden Dawson on Saturday, who took a blow to the head Wednesday against the Purdue. Despite his absence, Michigan State pulled out a big win on the road, edging the Hoosiers 74-72.
The loss of Dawson would not prove to be an issue. Alvin Ellis III came off the bench to finish with 16 points while forward Marvin Clark, Jr., starting in place of Dawson, finishing with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Guard Travis Trice finished tied with a game-high 21 points, including a clutch 8-9 of from the free throw line. Trice is shooting a shade over 67% from the stripe on the season. The Spartans didn’t make a field goal in the last 3:54 of the game.
Indiana guard Yogi Ferrell led the Hoosiers in scoring with 21 points. Sharp-shooting guard Nick Zeisloft scored 17 points off the bench for Indiana, including 5-8 from the 3-point line.
The Spartans struggled both from the 3-point line and free throw line today, shooting just 25% from beyond the arc and 55% from the stripe. In a game the Spartans needed going into the conference tournament next week, MSU made strides toward solidifying their NCAA Tournament status.