Late Free Throws Send Spartans Past Iowa

Stats | Boxscore

Jan. 10, 2013

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — Juniors Zach McCabe and Melsahn Basabe made up for the absence of leading scorer Roy Devyn Marble, but Michigan State made its free throws down the stretch to claim a 62-59 victory over the University of Iowa on Thursday night on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

“A lot of people stepped up today,” said Basabe, who finished with 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting. “We scored enough, and I felt everybody chipped in to cover for such a big loss with Devyn not playing. I don’t think that was an excuse. We had them up most of the game, and we should have won that game.

“I saw the victory, I saw the finish line. I tried to drive our team, the same as everybody else did. This is a very disappointing loss.”

McCabe and Basabe combined for 29 points on 11-of-14 shooting. McCabe led the team with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting with three 3-pointers and seven rebounds. Sophomore Aaron White was the third Hawkeye in double figures, finishing with 11 points, making 4-of-6 field goal attempts.

“Melsahn and Zach were fabulous,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “They did exactly what we need them to do.”

1st 2nd Final
#18 Michigan St. (13-3, 2-1) 24 38 62
Iowa (11-5, 0-3)
28 31 59
? Box Score | Attendance: 12,872
Statistical Leaders
? Zach McCabe – 15 points, 7 rebounds, 6-9 FG
? Melsahn Basabe – 14 points, 5-5 FG, 4-5 FT
? Aaron White – 11 points, 6 rebounds, 4-6 FG
Stats at a Glance
FG Percentage 40.4 45.1
3-Point FG Percentage 27.3 25.0
FT Percentage 61.9 60.0
Total Rebounds 36 35
Points in the Paint 38 34
Points off Turnovers 24 10

Marble missed the game after suffering an ankle injury during Monday’s practice. McCaffery says the junior is “iffy” for Sunday’s game at Northwestern.

After the Spartans grabbed their first lead of the game with 9:07 to play and took a 46-42 advantage on a Gary Harris 3-pointer, McCabe and Basabe took over. McCabe’s 3-pointer cut the deficit to 46-45 at the 7:48 mark and Basabe’s old-fashioned three-point play evened the game at 48 with 4:47 remaining.

Following a free throw by Derrick Nix that gave Michigan State the 49-48 lead, McCabe connected on his third long ball of the game, giving the Hawkeyes the 51-49 lead with 4:23 left.

“We’ve been struggling from 3, and Zach gets three big 3s,” said McCaffery.

With the score tied at 51, Basabe put Iowa back in front with a pair of free throws at the 2:50 mark and he followed with a layup on the next possession giving the Hawkeyes the 55-51 lead. The junior then hit 1-of-2 from the stripe, giving Iowa the 56-53 lead with 1:34 remaining.

The tide turned with 1:04 remaining when Spartan guard Keith Appling missed a 3-pointer and Michigan State secured the offensive rebound. Harris then drew a foul on his 3-pointer before making all three free throws to even the score at 56.

“You have got to get that rebound,” said McCaffery. “We get that rebound, we win that game.”

Iowa turned the ball over on its next possession when freshman Mike Gesell’s pass near midcourt was picked off by Brandon Dawson, and the forward went coast-to-coast and slammed home a dunk to put the Spartans on top. On the ensuing possession, White made 1-of-2 free throws to cut the deficit to one before Appling followed with two makes to make the score 60-57 with 20 ticks left.

Freshman Anthony Clemmons then made his first free throw to make the score 60-58, but his second attempt was off the mark. Iowa secured the rebound when White tipped the ball to Clemmons, where he was fouled. He again made 1-of-2 attempts to trim the lead to 60-59, and Appling made two more free throws with nine seconds left to extend the lead to 62-59.

“I felt it come short the first time I missed and the second time,” said Clemmons, a Lansing, Mich., native. “I knew it was coming off. I was hoping we got the rebound again, but unfortunately we didn’t.”

With the Spartans extending their defense, Iowa didn’t get a good look at the tie, as Clemmons shot at the buzzer didn’t draw iron.

“It was one of those games, and I am not sure anyone deserved to win or anyone deserved to lose,” said Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo. “I feel fortunate to come out with a win.”

Iowa shot 45.1 percent from the floor, making 23-of-51 field goal attempts, and it made 4-of-16 attempts from long range. Michigan State shot 40.4 percent (23-of-57) and went 3-of-11 from long range. The Spartans made 13 free throws to Iowa’s nine and made all seven attempts in the final 1:04. Iowa was 4-of-8 in the final 1:34.

Four Spartan players reached double digits with Dawson leading the way with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Harris finished with 14 and Appling had 12 with six free throws in the final 64 seconds.

After taking a 28-24 lead into the break, the Hawkeyes scored eight of the first 12 points to regain a 36-28 lead at the 13:09 mark. Michigan State kept grinding.

Consecutive field goals — a Harris 3-pointer and Dawson layup — made the score 38-35, but freshman Pat Ingram followed with a nifty layup to put Iowa back up five (40-35) with 12:01 to play. After trading point blank field goals, the Spartans reeled off nine unanswered points to take their first lead of the contest.

The Hawkeyes opened the game by jumping out to a 7-0 lead behind a 3-pointer by senior Eric May, and they led 9-2 at the 17:37 mark courtesy of a layup by freshman Adam Woodbury. The Spartans then scored seven straight points to even the game at nine with 15:46 remaining in the half.

McCabe and Basabe accounted for the next two field goals before Harris’ 3-pointer made the score 13-12. The Hawkeyes then reeled off 11 consecutive points to double up Michigan State, 24-12, with 9:12 on the clock.

Basabe opened the spurt with consecutive jumpers before McCabe followed with a lay-up and 3-pointer to extend the lead to double digits. Iowa made 10-of-its-first-14 shots to start the game. White stretched the advantage to 12 when he stole a Travis Trice pass before slamming home a fast break dunk.

With the score 26-14, the Hawkeye offense hit a road block. Iowa couldn’t score on 13 consecutive possessions, which allowed Michigan State to go on a 10-0 run to trim the deficit to 26-24. White accounted for the final points of the half with a fast break dunk at the 1:41 mark, allowing the Hawkeyes to take a 28-24 advantage into the locker room.

After starting the game 10-of-14 from the field, Iowa was 3-of-17 the rest of the half. Iowa shot 41.9 percent (13-of-31), while the Spartans were 10-of-27 (37 percent) from the floor. The Hawkeye bench accounted for 13 of the team’s 28 points.

Iowa returns to action Sunday at Northwestern beginning at 4:35 p.m. (CT) inside Welsh-Ryan Arena.