By MICHAEL MAROT/AP Sports Writer
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) – Victor Oladipo took control for No. 7 Indiana in the opening minutes Sunday and never let go.
The junior guard scored 21 points, grabbed seven rebounds and finished with six steals, leading the Hoosiers to a 75-70 victory over No. 13 Michigan State.
Indiana (18-2, 6-1 Big Ten) has now won three straight and two in a row in this series. The latest win helped break up the three-team logjam that started the day with only one loss each in conference play.
Michigan State (17-4, 6-2) was led by Gary Harris, Indiana’s 2012 Mr. Basketball, who had 21 points and made five 3-pointers. Adreian Payne added 18 points and nine rebounds and doubled his season total by making three 3s.
And it was every bit as entertaining as the Top 15 matchup was billed.
Indiana jumped to a 50-43 lead early in the second half, but the Spartans answered with back-to-back 3s from Harris to cut the deficit 50-49 with 15:36 to play.
From that point, Indiana never led by more than six and the Spartans couldn’t tie the score or take the lead.
Meanwhile, Oladipo kept coming up with big plays. His 17-foot jumper with 6:57 left made it 68-63. On the next possession, Oladipo was headed for a dunk but instead drew the fifth foul on Keith Appling, sending him to the free-throw line for two shots.
Christian Watford followed that by making 1 of 2 free throws with 3:17 to play and Cody Zeller put in his second basket of the game, a layup with 1:38 left, to give the Hoosiers a 74-70 lead.
But Michigan State still had chances. Harris missed a 3 from the left corner just before Zeller’s basket and after Oladipo missed a layup, Zeller took a charge from Payne with 14.3 seconds to go. The Spartans immediately fouled Jordan Hulls , who made 1 of 2 free throws to seal it for the Hoosiers.
The Spartans had trouble keeping up with Oladipo.
On the opening possession, he stole the ball and drove in for a dunk. That was just the start.
Another steal and dunk from Oladipo helped spur a 7-0 run midway through the first half. When it ended Indiana led 20-13.
The Spartans finally erased a nine-point deficit to take a 31-30 lead on another 3 from Harris late in the first half.
The lead didn’t last long.
Will Sheehey answered with a 3 for Indiana, and when Zeller made his first basket in three halves, at the 2:26 mark, Indiana led 38-33.
Michigan State came right back, scoring five straight, before Sheehey and Yogi Ferrell closed out the scoring with back-to-back 3s, giving the Hoosiers a 44-38 halftime lead.
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