EAST LANSING, Michigan (Ticker) -- Adam Ballinger displayed a brief glimpse of the player he used to be.
Ballinger nailed a key 3-pointer and Kelvin Torbert scored 12 points to lead Michigan State to a 61-54 Big Ten Conference victory over No. 20 Indiana.
Michigan State (11-8, 3-4 Big Ten) started the season ranked 10th in the country but has been one of the nation's biggest disappointments, having lost six of its last eight games.
A major reason for its struggles has been the lack of production from Ballinger, a third-team All-Conference selection a year ago who played just five minutes in Sunday's loss at league-leading Michigan.
The Spartans were nursing a 56-54 lead in the final minute when Chris Hill found Ballinger open on the wing. Ballinger drilled his 3-pointer and was mobbed by his teammates with 38 seconds left.
"If the shot was open, I was going to shoot it," Ballinger said. "I was determined because I passed that shot up a couple of times. It felt good to finally have it go in. It definitely lifts some weight off your shoulders, but it doesn't solve everything. But it feels real good right now."
"It killed us," Indiana coach Mike Davis said.
Ballinger, an Indiana native, entered averaging only 6.2 points and 3.6 rebounds after last year's averages of 11.2 points and 6.8 boards.
"That was a rags-to-riches decision for Adam Ballinger," Spartans coach Tom Izzo said. "He's from Indiana and you have to go to a kid from Indiana. We ran it and we knew he was probably going to be open.
"He had a lot of those kind of shots last year. So even if you didn't like him before, you have to love him now."
Indiana (14-5, 4-3) suffered through a seven-minute drought without a basket late in the game. Kyle Hornsby snapped the dry spell with a 3-pointer to make it 56-54 with 70 seconds to go, but that represented the final points for the Hoosiers, who fell to 0-3 in Big Ten road games.
Davis was not happy when asked about the long stretch between baskets.
"Watch the film," he said. "You'll see why. It is very difficult to get a field goal. Watch the tape. I can't say what. Watch and you'll see why."
Torbert bounced back from a seven-point outing in the loss to the Wolverines and scored four points on spinning drives on back-to-back possessions in the final five minutes.
"I think that it was Kelvin Torbert's best game as a Spartan," Izzo said. "When you look at all he did - defensively, he passed up a couple of shots and took it to the rim."
Alan Anderson scored 12 points and freshman Erazem Lorbek added 11 for Michigan State, which held a 30-16 advantage in points in the paint. The Spartans shot an astounding 72 percent (13-of-18) in the second half.
The Hoosiers shot 37 percent (7-of-19) in the second half as Jeff Newton missed 6-of-7 shots. Indiana dropped its 10th straight visit to Michigan State.
Davis shook up his lineup as freshman leading scorer Bracey Wright returned after missing four games with recurring back problems. He scored four points on 1-of-6 shooting. Hornsby did not start in favor of Sean Kline, who provided a spark and fouled out with 11 points.
"We lost, so I don't think it worked," Davis said.
Indiana had great success in its frontcourt as Newton scored 15 points and George Leach added 14 on 6-of-8 shooting. But the perimeter players struggled and made only 4-of-15 shots from beyond the arc.
That has been the theme for Indiana, which was held below 30 percent from the arc in losses to Kentucky, Ohio State, Purdue and Michigan State.
"It's not easy, as they say, to get up off of the mat, and I think that we did that tonight - for just one night," Izzo said. "We played the kind of ball that we have to play. I thought we were very good defensively."
The Hoosiers claimed their final lead on a hook shot by Leach with 8:11 left that made it 46-44. Torbert answered with a pair of foul shots and Aloysius Anagonye added four points as the Spartans took the lead for good.
Michigan State won despite getting only nine points from Hill, the team's leading scorer who led all players with four assists. Hill had 20-point outings in his previous two contests and came off the bench for the third straight game.
The Spartans committed just 10 turnovers and have just 27 in their last three games after averaging 16.1 through the first 16 contests.