After back-to-back home losses, Michigan State rebounded with a rout in its last game at the Breslin Center.
The No. 13 Spartans are hoping for another easy win there on Saturday as they seek a 15th consecutive home victory over Indiana.
Michigan State (18-4, 8-2 Big Ten) had won 15 consecutive conference home games, including seven straight this season before suffering back-to-back losses against Northwestern and Penn State during the last two weeks.
It was the Spartans’ first consecutive losses against Big Ten opponents in East Lansing since 1997.
Michigan State bounced back, however, with its third win in four games overall, beating No. 19 Minnesota 76-47 on Wednesday.
The Spartans opened a 42-16 lead at the half and limited the Golden Gophers to 28.8 percent shooting overall. Michigan State shot 51.0 percent from the field and was led by Durrell Summers’ 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting.
“One of the things I’ve talked about in the first three time outs was if we were going to be mature enough to learn from our mistakes of the past,” coach Tom Izzo said. “Are we going to learn from what we did against Northwestern and Penn State where we had some leads and didn’t take care of them? … That was the battle cry at halftime, let’s see if we can play a complete game.”
All of Michigan State’s starters should be plenty rested for Saturday. Leading scorer Kalin Lucas played a team-high 28 minutes, finishing with 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting and snapping a four-game streak of 20 points or more.
Lucas and the Spartans will look for another easy home win against Indiana (6-15, 1-8), which they’ve beaten 14 straight times at home since a 62-56 loss in 1991. They won last season’s meeting 103-73 when Indiana was ranked 12th and Michigan State was No. 19.
The Hoosiers earned their first conference win of the season, beating Iowa 68-60 on Wednesday to snap an 11-game losing streak.
Devan Dumes scored 27 points and Nick Williams added 14 and nine rebounds.
“The coaches have kept telling us to keep fighting, keep fighting and all the hard work is going to pay off and it paid off tonight,” said Dumes who made all five of his 3-point attempts. “We are trying to get more than one so we are going to keep working.”
Indiana is 10th in the Big Ten in scoring (62.3) and is allowing a conference-high 70.9 points per game in its first season under Tom Crean, who took over following Kelvin Sampson’s phone-call scandal.
Crean was an assistant coach in East Lansing from 1989-90 and 1995-99 under Izzo. He called Izzo a “great, great friend” on Friday.
“Michigan State is a lot more than one, two or three guys, they are a full team,” Crean said. “They have great depth. You couldn’t play with the speed they have in the backcourt and in the (fast)break, you couldn’t be as relentless as they are in the backcourt and you couldn’t execute the way they do if you didn’t have great depth.”
The Spartans were without No. 2 scorer Raymar Morgan on Wednesday as he recovers from walking pneumonia. Izzo said earlier this week that the junior forward would most likely be sidelined all week.