Jan. 7, 2007
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -Kelvin Sampson was pleased to get his first Big Ten coaching victory, but he stopped short of calling his team "good" following Indiana's 73-51 victory over Michigan State on Sunday.
"We caught Michigan State at the right time," said Sampson, who's in his first season with the Hoosiers after coming over from Oklahoma. "Don't give us so much credit for playing great."
D.J. White had 21 points, Lance Stemler finished with 16 points and seven rebounds, and Earl Calloway scored 11 for the Hoosiers (10-4, 1-1 Big Ten), who evened their record in the conference after a Jan. 2 loss at No. 6 Ohio State.
"We didn't want to put ourselves in a hole, just like Michigan State didn't want to," White said. "This was a game we needed to win."
"I'm very disappointed in how we played," Spartans coach Tom Izzo said. "Turnovers created a lot of problems, and we just didn't look very good executing. The game was decided by their effort-related things and our lack of."
The Hoosiers, who won their ninth straight Big Ten home opener and improved to 8-0 at Assembly Hall this season, jumped out to a 12-4 lead following consecutive baskets by White.
Michigan State cut the deficit to 20-19 on a pair of free throws by Joseph with eight minutes left, but Indiana went on an 18-8 run to end the half, taking a 38-27 advantage.
White led the Hoosiers with 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field in the opening half. Despite shooting 61 percent, the Spartans couldn't overcome 13 turnovers in falling behind by as many as 13 points.
Indiana took a 42-27 lead following baskets by Calloway and Stemler to begin the second half. Michigan State responded by scoring the next eight points to get within 42-35.
"We relaxed a little bit and they scored a lot of baskets," White said. "Coach called a timeout and regrouped us back together, and we pushed the lead back up."
The Hoosiers used a 10-2 run to open a 57-40 edge with 11 minutes left. White and Joey Shaw each had four points during the spurt to put Indiana in control.
"I think we're a lot better today than we were two weeks ago," Sampson said. "For us, we just have to scrap and claw and fight and find ways to win. We're getting better, I know that."