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Indiana 72, Michigan State 68

The SportsXchange

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Victor Oladipo didn't show any ill effects from a sprained ankle he suffered Saturday in a home win against Purdue.

On the contrary, the Indiana guard looked like his usual self, and he helped the top-ranked Hoosiers seize control of the Big 10 Conference race.

Oladipo scored 19 points, including what turned out to be a basket that put Indiana ahead for good in the final minute, and Indiana earned a 72-68 win over fourth-ranked Michigan State in a battle for first place in the conference.

Trailing 67-63 with 1:38 remaining, the Hoosiers (24-3, 12-2 Big Ten) closed the game on a 9-1 run to move one game ahead of the Spartans (22-5, 11-3).

Following a three-point play by Christian Watford with 1:25 left in the game that cut Indiana's deficit to 67-66, Michigan State's Keith Appling missed the front end of a one-and-one.

On the ensuing possession, Oladipo tipped in a rebound off of a missed layup by freshman Yogi Ferrell to give the Hoosiers a 68-67 lead with 42 seconds left.

Michigan State had a chance to take the lead, but Gary Harris missed a runner in the lane, and Indiana got the rebound and called a timeout with 13 seconds remaining.

When play resumed, the Hoosiers threw down the court to a wide-open Oladipo, who streaked all alone to the basket and dunked the ball in to give Indiana a 70-67 lead with 10 seconds to go.

Michigan State had one final chance to tie when Harris was fouled shooting a 3-point attempt with 3.7 seconds left, but he missed the first of his free throws.

He made the second, then intentionally missed the third, but the rebound wound up in the hands of Oladipo, who iced the game by hitting two free throws with 2.3 seconds remaining.

Indiana, which is trying to win its first outright Big 10 title since 1993, still has tough road challenges looming against Minnesota and Michigan among its four remaining league games.

Cody Zeller scored 17 points for Indiana, which now has a week off before traveling to Minnesota on Feb. 26.

Harris scored 19 points and junior center Adreian Payne had 17 points and seven rebounds in defeat for Michigan State, which is in the midst of a tough four-game stretch.

The Spartans will play at Ohio State on Sunday, at Michigan on March 3, then at home against Wisconsin on March 7.

NOTES: The game marked the first time that two top-5 teams played at Breslin Center since the arena opened in 1989. ... After missing four straight games after suffering concussion-like symptoms against Illinois on Jan. 31, Michigan State sophomore point guard Travis Trice was cleared to play before the game. ... Coming into the game, Michigan State had beaten Indiana 17 consecutive times in East Lansing. The last time Indiana won at Michigan State was on Feb. 28, 1991.
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