Wednesday , Jan , 11 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Ager guides 14th-ranked Spartans past No. 9 Indiana

=== Ager guides 14th-ranked Spartans past No. 9 Indiana ===

East Lansing, MI (Sports Network) – Maurice Ager went 9-of-13 from the field
and poured in a game-high 28 points, as 14th-ranked Michigan State posted an
easy 87-73 win over No. 9 Indiana in Big Ten action at the Breslin Center.

Paul Davis added a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds for the
Spartans (13-4, 1-2 Big Ten), who beat the Hoosiers for the 12th consecutive
time in East Lansing. Matt Trannon chipped in 11 points off the bench for
Michigan State, which put an end to a two-game losing streak.

“I was proud of my team, staff and assistant coaches, it was a heck of a job,”
said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo. “They were a good basketball team and put
more pressure on us than Wisconsin. Our shooting and rebounding was very good,
and it helps when we only turn the ball over three times in the second half.”

Marco Killingsworth had 27 points to lead Indiana (10-3, 2-1), which lost
for the first time in seven contests. Robert Vaden added 20 points, five
rebounds and four assists while Marshall Strickland had nine points for the

“We played a very good basketball team tonight,” said Indiana coach Mike
Davis. “They made the game too hard for us. I thought we gave everything we
had in the first, but the way they played, the way they shot the basketball I
don’t think we could have won. They did what they had to do, and they took
care of the home game.”

Ager’s jumper with seven seconds left in the first half gave the Spartans a
slim 41-39 lead at intermission. Ager paced Michigan State with 12 points,
while Killingsworth had 16 on 8-of-13 shooting in the opening 20 minutes.

The Spartans seized control with a 25-18 spurt to start the second frame.
Ager’s jumper gave Michigan State a 66-57 advantage with just under nine
minutes left.

Indiana tried to stem the tide when Strickland buried a trey, but the Spartans
answered quickly with Trannon’s jumper, Davis’ three-point play and a huge
long distance bomb from Ager to take a 14-point lead with just over five
minutes left. Davis then capped the 10-0 run when he hit a pair from the
charity stripe to swell the lead to 76-60 with 3:34 remaining.

Strickland tried to fuel a late Indiana comeback with a three-point play as
the senior guard drove down the heart of the lane for a layup and was fouled.
The subsequent free throw cut the Spartans lead to 13, 76-63, with 3:10 left.

However, a pair of Ager free throws and Shannon Brown’s jumper opened up a 17-
point cushion and enabled Michigan State to coast to the victory.

Game Notes

Indiana still holds a 61-41 advantage in the all-time series…Indiana had won
30 straight when shooting 50 percent or better from the floor. The Hoosiers
shot 55 percent…The Spartans, who shot 59 percent from the field, held a
29-18 edge on the backboards.