Late charge lifts Indiana Hoosiers men's basketball past Michigan State Spartans, 67-63
By MICHAEL MAROT
AP Sports Writer
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Joey Brunk made an immediate impact from the moment he arrived on Indiana’s campus.
Jerome Hunter needed to be more patient.
The graduate transfer from Butler and the redshirt freshman teamed up for the Hoosiers’ final flurry on Thursday night. Brunk scored 14 points including a layup with a minute left, Hunter grabbed a rebound with 0.2 seconds left and made two free throws to seal Indiana’s 67-63 win over No. 11 Michigan State.
“He had 14 and six (rebounds) tonight and he earned them all,” coach Archie Miller said when asked about Brunk.
Without Brunk — or Hunter — the Hoosiers may not have salvaged this one.
The Hoosiers (15-4, 5-3 Big Ten) have won two straight, four of their last five and now trail conference co-leaders Michigan State and Illinois by just a game.
Cassius Winston, the league’s preseason player of the year, could have forced overtime when he drove through the lane in the waning seconds. But when Hoosiers forward Trayce Jackson-Davis slid toward Winston, he flipped the ball to Xavier Tillman for a layup that rolled off the rim and into the hands of Hunter.
Winston scored 13 of his 17 points in the second half as the Spartans (14-5, 6-2) lost their third straight in the series.
“We just didn’t play good enough to win on the road,” coach Tom Izzo said. “I think he tried to get it up on the rim and I thought he had a wide open layup. He just missed it.”
The Hoosiers started fast and still led 37-30 at the half.
But Michigan State made its first six 3s of the second half and finally took the lead, 51-48, on Rocket Watts’ 3 with 11:06 remaining.
It stayed a one-possession game the rest of the way, but the momentum finally swung when Aljami Durham ‘s 3 with 1:52 to go broke a 60-60 tie. Brunk’s layup made it 65-62 and Hunter sealed Indiana’s biggest win of the season with his only points of the game.