Early Lead Fades for the Hawkeyes

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March 2, 2011

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EAST LANSING, Mich. — Too many points left at the free throw line. No points from long range.

The University of Iowa played a worthy first half, but stumbled over the final 20 minutes, and lost to Michigan State, 85-66, on Wednesday in front of 14,797 at the Breslin Center.

Iowa shot 20 of 33 from the free throw line and was 0 for 12 from 3-point range. It is the first time in 239 games that the Hawkeyes have gone without a 3-point field goal.

“We had great looks, good shooters, but it’s hard to win when you’re 0 of 12 from 3 with 13 missed free throws,” UI head coach Fran McCaffery said. “We got the ball to the rim, we got open 3-point looks — it just didn’t happen tonight.”

Michigan State improved to 17-12 overall, 9-8 in the Big Ten Conference. Iowa is 10-19, 3-14.

Matt Gatens and Melsahn Basabe shared the scoring lead for the Hawkeyes with 13 points. Iowa held two leads of five points in the first half — 10-5 after a layup by Basabe and 12-7 after a layup by Bryce Cartwright.

“We were satisfied with our start,” Gatens said. “We came out of the gate ready to play — we threw the first punch at them, but the second half wasn’t there. We played an average first half and we were right there, it just got out of hand. We have to bring it in the second half.”

Iowa forced 13 turnovers with Jarryd Cole compiling five steals. The Spartans benefitted from 42 points for their non-starters.

Michigan State made 30 of 55 field goals (54.5 percent) with seven 3-point field goals. The Hawkeyes were 23 of 56 from the field (41.1 percent).

Cartwright (11 points) and Cole (10) also scored in double figures for Iowa; Cole and Zach McCabe pulled down six rebounds and Cartwright handed out six assists.

The Hawkeyes close the regular season Saturday against Purdue on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tipoff is 3 p.m. (CT); it is the final home game for Cole.

“I absolutely love this guy,” McCaffery said. “I’ve been in this business a long time and very few players I’ve coached do I have the affinity for that I have for Jarryd Cole. You talk about a guy who gives you everything in his tank every minute of everything he does.”

Michigan State 85, Iowa 66 1st 2nd Final
Iowa (10-19, 3-14) 32 34 66
Michigan State (17-12, 9-8) 36 49 85
Statistical Leaders
Points: Matt Gatens / Melsahn Basabe (Iowa) 13 | Keith Appling (Michigan State) 18
Rebounds: Jarryd Cole / Zach McCabe (Iowa) 6 | Draymond Green (Michigan State) 8
Assists: Bryce Cartwright (Iowa) 6 | Kalin Lucas (Michigan State) 6