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February 20, 2013

Hoosiers avoid upset

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Victor Oladipo’s go-ahead putback, dunk and free throws in the final minute lifted top-ranked Indiana to a 72-68 win over No. 4 Michigan State on Tuesday night.

Indiana (24-3, 12-2 Big Ten) broke a first-place tie in the conference and moved a step closer toward earning top seeding next month in the NCAA tournament. The Hoosiers had lost 17 straight — since 1991 — on the road against the Spartans.

Michigan State blew opportunities at the line.

Trailing by three with 3.7 seconds left, Gary Harris was fouled on a 3-point attempt. He missed the first one and then after making the second, missed the third on purpose. Indiana got the rebound — Oladipo got to it, of course — and he hit two free throws to seal the win.

Keith Appling had missed the front end of a one and one with a little more than a minute left.

Michigan State (22-5, 11-3) had won five straight and 11 of 12 with its only loss during the stretch at Indiana.

Oladipo, who sprained his left ankle in his last game, had 19 points, nine rebounds and five steals.

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.

Harris had 19 points, Adreian Payne scored 17 and the rest of their teammates struggled offensively.

No. 15 Butler 68, Duquesne 49: Rotnei Clarke scored 16 points and Khyle Marshall added 14 to lead Butler past reeling Duquesne.

The Bulldogs (22-5, 9-3 Atlantic 10) have won five of their last six and managed to keep pace with league-leading Virginia Commonwealth, which went into the night with a one-game lead over Butler and a 1/2 game lead over St. Louis.

Duquesne (8-18, 1-11) was led by Derrick Colter with 11 points and Jerry Jones with nine but lost for the 15th time in 17 games.

It took Butler a while to warm up. Once they did, it was no contest.

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