EAST LANSING, Mich. — Victor Oladipo shook off a sprained left ankle with a spectacular performance to lift top-ranked Indiana to a 72-68 win over No. 4 Michigan State on Tuesday night.
Oladipo’s go-ahead putback, dunk and free throws in the final minute gave him 19 points to go along with nine rebounds, five steals and a block. Not bad for a guy who didn’t play after halftime of his previous game, just three days earlier, because of the injury.
Hoosiers coach Tom Crean insisted that the junior shooting guard “wasn’t even close" to 100-percent healthy.
“There’s no doubt his foot hurt," Crean said. “That mind was right, and that was the biggest thing."
Indiana (24-3, 12-2 Big Ten) broke a first-place tie in the conference — with four games left in the regular season — and moved a step closer toward earning top seeding next month in the NCAA tournament.
“It was a huge win for us," Oladipo said. “We’ve come a long way."
The Hoosiers had lost 17 straight — since 1991 — on the road against the Spartans.
“Most of those guys weren’t alive," Crean said. “It didn’t affect them."
Michigan State (22-5, 11-3) blew opportunities at the line.
Trailing by three with 3.7 seconds left, Harris was fouled on a 3-point attempt. He missed the first one — setting off sighs in the sold-out arena — and after making the second, he deliberately missed the third.
Indiana got the rebound — Oladipo grabbed it, of course — and he hit two free throws to seal the win. “We were right there," Gary Harris said somberly. “And, we could’ve won." Keith Appling had missed the front end of a one and one with a little more than a minute left.
“I’d say I was more upset than surprised," he said.
Cody Zeller had 17 points — nearly doubling what he had in the previous matchup against Michigan State — while Jordan Hulls and Christian Watford scored 12 each for the Hoosiers.
Oladipo and Zeller went over the 1,000-point mark of their careers in the game, joining Hulls and Watford in the club, to give the storied program four players with that many points on the same team for the first time.
In other games on Tuesday:
No. 2 Miami 54
CORAL GABLES, Fla. — Reggie Johnson made a tie-breaking layup with 5.7 seconds left, and Miami overcame a ragged offensive performance for the second game in a row to beat Virginia and remain unbeaten in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
No. 5 Florida 60
COLUMBIA, Mo. — Laurence Bowers had 17 points plus 10 rebounds and Missouri erased a 13-point deficit in the second half to rally past Florida.
No. 15 Butler 68
INDIANAPOLIS — Rotnei Clarke scored 16 points and Khyle Marshall added 14 to lead Butler past reeling Duquesne.
No. 17 Marquette 67
Seton Hall 46
NEWARK, N.J. — Vander Blue scored 19 points and Marquette used a sizeable rebounding advantage to beat Seton Hall.
Saint Louis 76
No. 24 VCU 62
ST. LOUIS — Jordair Jett scored all 16 of his points in the second half and Mike McCall, Jr. added 15 to help Saint Louis win its eighth straight and take sole possession of first place in the Atlantic 10 with a victory over VCU.