Bloomington, IN (SportsNetwork.com) - Gary Harris posted a game-high 26 points as No. 5 Michigan State had an easy time with Indiana, taking away a 73-56 victory at Assembly Hall.
"Once we see some shots go down early, it can be a long day for the other team," said Harris, who poured in 17 in the first half alone. "I was dead tired at the end of the game."
Keith Appling added 14 points and Branden Dawson contributed 13 with six rebounds for the Spartans (13-1, 2-0 Big Ten), winners of six in a row heading into a matchup with Ohio State on Tuesday in East Lansing.
Kevin Ferrell totaled 17 points and Will Sheehey 13 for the Hoosiers (10-5, 0-2), who have dropped their first two conference games of the season and lost at home to MSU for the first time in nearly four years.
Already ahead by nine, Michigan State came out shooting in the second half. Adreian Payne hit a jumper, Denzel Valentine hit a trey and the lead ballooned to 40-25 after a layup from Dawson rolled in just before the three-minute mark.
Sheehey hit a triple and the Hoosiers brought their deficit to single digits for the final time at 50-41 with 8:54 to play, but Harris responded with a three-pointer and 2-of-3 from the line after Indiana's Stanford Robinson drew a technical foul and Michigan State opened up a 55-41 edge.
Indiana's defense began to wilt as it tried to press on offense, and when Appling sliced through the paint for a lay-in with 4:53 to play, the visitors held a 64-48 advantage.
MSU kept its foot on the gas down the stretch, and its margin eventually increased to 19 on an Appling slam before keeping the Hoosiers at bay for the remainder.
"They just have too many guys right now, they have too many guys that understand each other at a really high level," Indiana head coach Tom Crean said of Michigan State. "They understand how to win and things that hurt us today, especially in the first half, and we've got to grow out of this."
An early 10-0 burst fueled by Harris' eight straight points put MSU on top 15-9. Dawson's jumper extended the edge to 23-16 with 6:27 left before halftime
Jeremy Hollowell's jumper inside of three minutes remaining capped an 8-2 run and pulled Indiana within 25-24, but the Spartans closed out the half with eight straight -- including back-to-back triples by Harris -- and led 33-24 at the break.
Indiana leads the all-time series 67-49, and 44-13 on its home court, but Michigan State has won seven of last 10 meetings ... The Spartans last won in Bloomington on Feb. 16, 2010, a 72-58 result ... Robinson ended up with 11 points in defeat.