Victor Oladipo shook off a sprained left ankle with a spectacular performance to lift the top-ranked Indiana men to a 72-68 Big Ten basketball victory at No. 4 Michigan State.
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Victor Oladipo shook off a sprained left ankle with a spectacular performance to lift top-ranked Indiana to a 72-68 victory over No. 4 Michigan State on Tuesday night.
Oladipo’s go-ahead putback, dunk and free throws in the final minute gave him 19 points to go along with nine rebounds, five steals and a block. Not bad for a guy who didn’t play after halftime of his previous game, three days earlier, because of the injury.
Hoosiers coach Tom Crean insisted the junior guard “wasn’t even close” to 100 percent healthy.
“There’s no doubt his foot hurt,” Crean said. “That mind was right, and that was the biggest thing.”
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Indiana (24-3 overall, 12-2 Big Ten) snapped a first-place tie in the conference — with four games left in the regular season — and moved a step closer toward earning top seeding next month in the NCAA tournament.
“It was a huge win for us,” Oladipo said. “We’ve come a long way.”
The Hoosiers had lost 17 straight — since 1991 — on the road against the Spartans.
Michigan State (22-5, 11-3) failed to convert opportunities at the free-throw line.
Trailing by three with 3.7 seconds left, Gary Harris was fouled on a three-point attempt. He missed the first one — setting off sighs in the sold-out arena — and after making the second, he deliberately missed the third.
Indiana got the rebound — Oladipo grabbed it, of course — and he made two free throws to seal the victory.
“We were right there,” Harris said somberly. “And we could’ve won.”
Teammate Keith Appling had missed the front end of a one-and-one with a little more than a minute left.
Cody Zeller had 17 points while Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford scored 12 each for the Hoosiers.
Harris, Indiana’s prep Mr. Basketball last year, missed a layup in a crowded lane with 16 seconds left and finished with 19 points.
Appling, Michigan State’s leading scorer, was held to six points on 1-of-8 shooting.
“My quarterback struggled a little bit,” Spartans coach Tom Izzo said.
Harris made one of two free throws with 1:38 remaining to give the Spartans a game-high, four-point lead.
Watford responded with a three-point play on the ensuing possession and Oladipo did the rest.
“Oladipo is just a refuse-to-lose guy,” Izzo said. “Winning time, he made the plays.”
Michigan State had won five straight and 11 of 12, with its only loss during the stretch at Indiana.
Other Top 10 men
At No. 2 Miami 54,
Reggie Johnson made a tiebreaking layup with 5.7 seconds left and the Hurricanes (22-3, 13-0 Atlantic Coast) overcame a ragged offensive performance for the second consecutive game to get past the Cavaliers (18-8, 8-5).
Durand Scott added two clinching free throws with 4.1 seconds left for Miami, which has won 14 in a row. Two nights earlier, the Hurricanes beat Clemson 45-43.
Virginia’s Joe Harris, who is from Chelan, scored a game-high 16 points.
At Missouri 63,
No. 5 Florida 60
Laurence Bowers had 17 points and 10 rebounds and the Tigers (19-7, 8-5 Southeastern) erased a 13-point second-half deficit to rally past the Gators (21-4, 11-2).
Mike Rosario scored 14 points for Florida but missed a three-point try at the buzzer.
No. 17 UCLA 68, at USC 54
Atonye Nyingifa scored 22 points on 11-of-14 shooting as the Bruins (20-6, 11-14 Pac-12) beat the Women of Troy (8-18, 5-10).
USC has lost seven in a row
Arizona St. 81,
at Arizona 77 (2 OT)
Promise Amukamara scored 21 points on 9-for-13 shooting as the Sun Devils (12-15, 4-11) outlasted the Wildcats (12-14, 4-11), snapping their seven-game losing streak.
Arizona’s Davellyn Whyte had 31 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists — the first triple-double in program history.