Sunday, February 9, 2003

Michigan State 67, Indiana 62 (OT)

Hoosiers sent to 5th straight loss

By Michael Marot
The Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - Michigan State coach Tom Izzo knew his team needed to keep its mind on basketball Friday night after starting forward Alan Anderson went down with a hand injury in practice.

So he called his players back to work in Bloomington.

The payoff came Saturday night when freshman Paul Davis scored a season-high 21 points, grabbed nine rebounds and led the Spartans to a 67-62 overtime victory at Indiana.

"Last night, everyone was kind of down," Izzo said, explaining his decision. "So we had another practice here, just to kind of get our mental state back."

Anderson, the Spartans' second-leading scorer, is expected to miss three to four weeks after dislocating a finger on his right hand. Izzo called the injury "gruesome" and said the bone punctured the skin.

But Michigan State didn't appear to miss him Saturday.

Davis produced his best overall game of the season. Chris Hill, who scored 12 points, hit big shots in the closing minutes of regulation. Kelvin Torbert played through cramps and illness to score 10 points, and Anderson cheered them on from the bench, wearing a suit and a heavy wrap on his right hand.

The result produced Michigan State's (13-8, 5-4) first Big Ten road win of the season and a big midcourt celebration afterward.

"We didn't have Alan, and he's our biggest offensive threat," Davis said. "So I took it upon myself to play better and better and better."

Davis was sensational, hitting 7-of-9 from the field and 7-of-9 from the free-throw line. He also came up with five offensive rebounds.

The Hoosiers (14-8, 4-5) played better than they had been recently, but it didn't make much difference.

While Jeff Newton scored 24 points, grabbed five rebounds and became the 38th player in school history to score 1,000 points in his career. Bracey Wright returned to his early-season form with 20 points, but the Hoosiers still lost their fifth straight.

It's the longest losing streak for any Indiana team since 1971-72, Bob Knight's first season in Bloomington, and Saturday night's loss also ended the Hoosiers' 10-game home winning streak.

Coach Mike Davis, who said Thursday that he took the blame for the skid because he pushed his players too hard, complimented his players' effort despite the loss. The Hoosiers played most of the night without starting center George Leach, who broke his nose and had a concussion Thursday. He proved ineffective early in the game.

"You've got to start somewhere, and we are getting better," Mike Davis said. "No one's hurting more than I am about this loss, but we are getting better. Bracey is back, and that's a good sign."

Paul Davis scored six points in overtime, while Hill was busy getting the Spartans into overtime. His 15-footer gave Michigan State a 53-51 lead with 1:58 to go and his 3-pointer just 47 seconds later made it 56-53.

Wright's 3-pointer with 36 seconds left tied the score, and when Michigan State was forced into a shot-clock violation, the game went into overtime.

Davis took control early.

He powered in for a layup on the Spartans first possession, then stepped out and hit a 17-footer on their next possession.

"With Alan not here, I had to do my part," Paul Davis said. "When the opportunity was there, I had to take it."

Indiana, prodded by a loud, sellout crowd, never recovered although it had some chances.

The Hoosiers got within 64-62 with 50.5 seconds to go and forced a turnover, but Newton missed a 15-footer and was forced to foul.

When Hill missed one of two free throws, Indiana called time-out to set up a play. Then Wright lost control of the ball on a drive to the basket and turned it over to seal the Hoosiers' fate and give Izzo his second win in seven tries at Assembly Hall.

"I guess in your career, you have some memorable moments," Izzo said. "With the gruesome injury that Alan Anderson suffered with 10 minutes to go in practice yesterday, that makes this a big one."

MICHIGAN ST. (13-8)-Anagonye 2-4 0-0 4, Lorbek 4-7 0-1 8, Hill 3-12 5-6 12, Ager 1-3 2-2 4, Torbert 5-8 0-0 10, Johnson 0-2 0-0 0, Bograkos 1-2 0-0 2, Davis 7-9 7-9 21, Andreas 0-0 1-2 1, Ballinger 2-3 0-0 5. Totals 25-50 15-20 67.

INDIANA (14-8)-Newton 8-17 7-9 24, Leach 0-0 0-0 0, Coverdale 2-7 0-0 5, Wright 7-14 2-3 20, Hornsby 2-6 0-1 6, Moye 0-0 0-0 0, Strickland 1-3 1-2 4, Kline 1-1 1-1 3, Roberts 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 21-51 11-16 62.

Halftime-Michigan St. 27, Indiana 24. Regulation-Indiana 56, Michigan St. 56. 3-Point goals-Michigan St. 2-14 (Ballinger 1-1, Hill 1-5, Bograkos 0-1, Ager 0-1, Johnson 0-2, Torbert 0-2, Lorbek 0-2), Indiana 9-24 (Wright 4-9, Hornsby 2-4, Strickland 1-1, Newton 1-3, Coverdale 1-6, Roberts 0-1). Rebounds-Michigan St. 34 (Davis 9), Indiana 25 (Newton 5). Fouled out-Anagonye. Assists-Michigan St. 10 (Anagonye, Hill, Ager 3), Indiana 13 (Coverdale 4).

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