Indiana Hoosiers struggle in 73-56 loss to No. 5 Michigan State

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- At some point, Indiana will figure out when to take a jump shot and when to go inside, Hoosiers coach Tom Crean says.

And, he said, the Hoosiers will learn that, when free throw shooting is one of your biggest strengths, you need to get to the line.

But on Saturday, that day had not yet arrived, and the Hoosiers paid for it in a 73-56 loss to No. 5 Michigan State.

Gary Harris burned the Hoosiers for 26 points as Crean watched his young team struggle.

"We played hard. They played smart," Crean said. "We've got to grow out of this. I'm getting downright angry with it."

Spartans coach Tom Izzo said he gambled on trying to stop Hoosiers guard Yogi Ferrell.

Ferrell scored 30 points earlier in the week at Illinois, but the 17 the Spartans held him to Saturday left Indiana without an offensive answer.

"We guarded Yogi with three or four guys, to be honest with you," Izzo said. "You pick and choose and make adjustments."

The win ended a run of three straight Indiana wins over the Spartans (13-1, 2-0 Big Ten).

Michigan State turned 13 Indiana turnovers into 20 points - with Harris the finisher on several of the plays - capitalizing on a problem that has plagued the Hoosiers (10-5, 0-2) all season. They are averaging 16.4 turnovers a game, more than any other team in the conference.

"Turnovers where we're just giving them the ball and they're scoring and things like that, we're not OK with," Ferrell said.

Branden Dawson added 13 points for the Spartans.

Will Sheehey scored 13 for Indiana.

After falling behind by as many as 15 points early in the second half the Hoosiers made a run, using freshman guard Stanford Robinson to clamp down on Harris and finding points from someone other than Ferrell.

"I wish we would have got him on Harris in the first half," Crean said of Robinson.

Sheehey buried a 3-pointer with 8:54 left in the game to close the gap to 50-41, turning and sprinting back down court as the shot went through and the crowd erupted.

But at the other end of the court, Indiana couldn't come up with a rebound off a series of Spartan misses, finally watching Harris come back to life for what would become a 5-point play.

Harris hit a 3-pointer and drew a foul from Robinson. And as Harris pumped his first in front of the celebrating Spartans bench, Robinson was hit with a technical foul.

Harris made two of the three free throws and the Spartans were up 55-41.

Without Ferrell's 10 first-half points, the Hoosiers might have been all but out of the game by halftime.

Michigan State turned Indiana's eight turnovers into 13 first-half points and a 33-24 lead.

The Hoosiers had no answer for Harris, not even Ferrell.

Harris had 17 points by the half, including a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left that he hit over Ferrell, who fell as he scrambled to get to him and was sprawled on the court at his feet.

Indiana went up 9-5 in the opening 4 minutes on a 3-pointer by Ferrell.

But the Spartans shut down the Hoosiers' momentum in a hurry, going on a 10-0 run that was capped by a layup and free throw from Harris with 11:35 left.

Harris entered the game averaging a team-high 17.4 points a game. But he still hasn't been the player he or Izzo expected this season. So he spent part of the morning, he and Izzo said, watching video of his play from last season and said it helped.

Now Izzo, who said he apologized to Harris for leaving him on the court too long, hopes he can build on this game.

"You've got to have guys who make plays," Izzo said. "I think Gary Harris is going to be that guy for us this year."

Michigan State is 7-0 on the road this season but plays its next two games, against No. 3 Ohio State on Tuesday and Minnesota on Jan. 11, at home.

The Hoosiers will try for their first Big Ten win at Penn State on Jan. 11.

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