Eric Gordon scored 28 points and broke Indiana's freshman scoring record Saturday night, leading the Hoosiers (No. 9 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) to an 80-61 victory over Michigan State (No. 9 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP).
With coach Kelvin Sampson's job status in question after being accused of five major NCAA infractions Wednesday, Indiana (21-4, 10-2) desperately needed a victory to stay in contention for the Big Ten title and to salvage something from one of the bleakest weeks in the program's history.
A day after university officials announced they would conduct another investigation into the allegations against Sampson, including providing false and misleading information to NCAA investigators, fans offered their own opinions.
Some of the of colorful signs supported the Indiana coach. Others reflected the disgust that has emerged after the school's image was tainted by a phone-call scandal.
When D.J. White went down with a left knee injury late in the first half, a bad week suddenly appeared to be getting worse.
Michigan State (20-5, 8-4) was led by Drew Neitzel with 21 points as the home team won for the seventh straight time in the series. The Spartans have now lost two straight after losing at No. 19 Purdue on Tuesday.
Despite the offcourt trouble, fans were unified in supporting the Hoosiers, and Indiana responded with one of its best games of the season.
After trailing 15-4 early, the Hoosiers used a 10-3 run to tie it at 18 and a 19-6 run to build a 37-26 lead with 2:55 left in the first half.
The Hoosiers sealed the outcome with a 12-4 spurt to make it 57-41 with 13:43 left in the game, and the Spartans never got closer than 12 the rest of the way.
Gordon broke Mike Woodson's school scoring record for freshman, 500 points set in 1976-77, late in the first half. Gordon now has 520 points this season.