EAST LANSING — Things came together early and easily for Michigan State. And for the first time in more than a week, the Spartans sustained their intensity for more than just a few minutes.
No. 9 MSU reeled off an 18-0 run midway through the first half and then coasted to an 85-57 victory over Indiana on Friday night at Breslin Center.
Miles Bridges scored 22 points on 9 of 13 shooting, one of five Spartans to score in double figures.
Fellow sophomore Nick Ward posted another double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds in 23 minutes. Cassius Winston had 10 points and eight assists. Matt McQuaid added 11 points, and Jaren Jackson Jr. had 10 points and six rebounds.
After losing to Michigan and Ohio State and escaping against Rutgers last week, the Spartans returned to the form they showed during much of their 14-game win streak.
MSU shot 54.2 percent, including 10 of 20 3-point attempts, while showing improved ball movement with 23 assists on its 32 baskets. The Spartans also held Indiana to just 33.9 percent shooting for the game and dominated the Hoosiers in rebounding, 45-27.
A 15-3 MSU run late in the second half pushed the Spartans’ lead to 32 points.
"This young team needs to learn how to deal with the noise. And me. To my happiness, they responded," MSU coach Tom Izzo said. "We rebounded the ball, we ran, we pushed it."
Robert Johnson scored 21 to lead Indiana (11-8, 4-3 Big Ten), while Josh Newkirk added 14.
The Spartans jumped out to a sizzling start, building as much as a 23-point lead in the first half.
Trailing by a point a little more than 4 minutes into the first half, MSU went on its big run. Five different Spartans scored, including a three-point play by McQuaid and a 3-pointer to close the spurt by Winston, to make it 27-10.
Bridges made his first five shots of the game, including an alley-oop dunk off a Winston assist drew a big “wow” from special guest Alex Rodriguez. A three-point play by Xavier Tillman, Bridges’ third 3-pointer of the half and a layup by Jackson gave MSU a 39-17 cushion with 5:30 left before half.
"They showed they have a fantastic team that'll not only be right there for the league title but a lot more after that," said Indiana coach Archie Miller, who added that Ward is "the best rim-runner in college basketball."
The Spartans led, 42-23, at the break, with 13 points from Bridges. Ward had seven points and five rebounds in 14 minutes, while Winston had seven points and four assists.
For all of Izzo’s talk about needing to run the break more, the Spartans did the bulk of its damage early inside and in the half-court offense.
MSU outscored Indiana, 18-4, in the paint in the opening half while also posting 12 points off seven Hoosiers turnovers. The Spartans coughed up the ball just five times in the first 20 minutes, but Indiana didn’t score off any of them.
Meanwhile, the Spartans just got four points out of its transition game, while the Hoosiers scored seven.
Jackson became the MSU freshman blocked shot record holder when he got his 65th of the season early in the second half. He surpassed the previous record of 64 set by Deyonta Davis during the 2015-16 season.
The 6-foot-11 Jackson now needs eight more to overtake Ken Johnson’s current record of 72, set during the 1984-85 season.
MSU (17-3, 5-2) visit Illinois on Monday night (9 p.m., Fox Sports 1). The Illini (10-9, 0-6) played late Friday night at Wisconsin. Seven of the Spartans’ final 11 games of the regular season are on the road.