Spartans finish road schedule with 78-71 loss

Spartans finish road schedule with 78-71 loss

Michigan State ended their Big Ten road season the same way they began it - with a loss. After digging themselves into a 16 point hole, the Spartans rallied behind a 30 point effort from shooting guard Maurice Ager to eventually tie, but Indiana made plays down the stretch and MSU didn't.

Michigan State ended their Big Ten road season the same way they began it - with a loss. After digging themselves into a 16 point hole, the Spartans rallied behind a 30 point effort from shooting guard Maurice Ager to eventually tie, but Indiana made plays down the stretch and MSU didn't.

MSU coach Tom Izzo was happy with the efort to comeback, but felt MSU lost their poise in the first half of the game.

"We did a better job in the second half, [but it was] kind of ridiculous what we did in the first half. We just made some foolish turnovers and didn't do a very good job of taking care of the ball. [We had] nine turnovers and we just took too many fadeaway shots and we didn't take the ball to the basket."

Ager was sensational in the game, hitting 12-of-18 shots and making 4-of-6 from three point land in collecting his 30 points, many of them in crunch time. Rather than settling for outside jump shots, Ager showed a willingness to mix it up inside, a good sign for the Spartans tournament hopes.

With the game tied, Marshall Strickland converted a three-point play to give Indiana a lead before Indiana sophomore forward Robert Vaden dropped a three-point bomb to put the Hoosiers up six. Shannon Brown answered with two free throws to cut the lead to four.

The Spartans turned the ball over on their next possession and Indiana shot free throws to seal the deal. The loss drops the Spartans to 7-7 in the conference and 19-9 overall.

While MSU is in no danger of falling out of the NCAA tournament, they're seeding is dropping like a lead balloon. The Spartans, who once hoped to get a #3 seed, likely are now a #5 or #6 seed.

State hopes to win their final two games (Wisconsin 3/2 and Illinois 3/4), both at the Breslin Center and gain some momentum going into the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, IN before watching Selection Sunday, March 12th.

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