7:00 PM ET, February 16, 2010
Assembly Hall (Indiana), Bloomington, Indiana
With Kalin Lucas apparently healthy, Michigan State appears back on track following its roughest stretch this season.After snapping a three-game losing streak, the 11th-ranked Spartans look for a fourth straight victory over struggling Indiana on Tuesday night in a Big Ten matchup at Assembly Hall.Nursing a sprained ankle, Lucas had 24 points with six assists as Michigan State (20-6, 10-3) won 65-54 at last-place Penn State on Saturday.While that snapped the Spartans' longest skid in three years, and kept them tied atop the conference standings, it gave promise that Lucas (15.8 points per game) is healthy again.The reigning conference player of year played 35 minutes in his best game since injuring his ankle in a 67-49 loss at then-No. 16 Wisconsin on Feb. 2. The junior then missed a loss at Illinois, and came off the bench with 12 points on 2 of 6 shooting in a 12-point home loss to former No. 6 Purdue last Tuesday."It's hard to play well against good teams without your quarterback, and our quarterback might have played his best game of the year," said Spartans coach Tom Izzo, whose team averaged 62.0 points on 41.3 percent shooting during their three-game skid.Lucas didn't miss a beat over the weekend as Michigan State used a 13-0 second-half run to keep the Nittany Lions winless in league play.That's a good sign for the Spartans, who conclude a stretch of playing six of eight on the road. Lucas is a big reason why Michigan State is 5-2 away from home in conference play, as he averages 16.7 points on 52.1 shooting in six Big Ten road games.Izzo, however, would like to see more support so his squad won't have to rely completely on Lucas as he continues to mend. Chris Allen had 14 points Saturday, but was the only other Spartans player in double figures."We have to get everyone healthy and shooting better," said Izzo, who'll coach his 500th game while facing his former assistant and good friend Tom Crean on Tuesday.Michigan State has shot well during a three-game winning streak against Indiana, making 51.5 percent of its shots while averaging 80.7 points. Lucas had 15 and Raymar Morgan's dunk with 27 seconds helped the Spartans snap a four-game road slide to the Hoosiers with a 64-59 win in the teams' last meeting March 3.Morgan is averaging 5.2 points in his last five games, but 17.0 on 13 of 15 shooting in his last two against Indiana.While Michigan State appears headed in a positive direction once again, Indiana (9-15, 3-9) looks to avoid extending its season-high losing streak to seven after falling 83-55 at Wisconsin on Saturday.Christian Watford scored 15 points and Verdell Jones overcame the flu to add 11 for the Hoosiers, who've shot 39.2 percent and averaged 56.0 points while losing their last three by a combined 62 points."Right now, we are just focused on getting the spirit and energy back, and really the believability that you can play and win," Crean said.Though Jones (14.6 ppg) is likely to play, key reserve Devan Dumes could miss a second straight game with the flu as the Hoosiers try to snap a three-game home losing streak. Jones scored 15 against the Spartans at home last season.Indiana has lost 13 in a row against Top 25 opponents after beating then-No. 14 Purdue 77-68 on Feb. 19, 2008.
|Avg Points Allowed||63.7||71.5|
|Conference||Big Ten||Big Ten|
|» Feb 16, 2010||MSU 72, @IND 58||Recap|