Rough-n-Tumble Affair Favors Michigan State

Stats | Boxscore

Jan. 17, 2013

Box Score

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The University of Iowa and Michigan State roll out the wrestling mats Sunday, but that sport will be hard-pressed to match the physicality of the women’s basketball game between the Hawkeyes and Spartans held Thursday in the Breslin Center.

Michigan State put together a surge in the final 3:30 and came out with its fists raised, 65-54, in a game that featured technical fouls, an “incidental” technical knockout, and bodies falling to the court nearly as often as balls falling through the hoop.

“Their physical play wore us down,” UI head coach Lisa Bluder said. “I thought it was a very physical basketball game and it’s amazing that only 10 fouls are whistled against (Michigan State). We let it affect us: we started complaining about the officiating and we started getting frustrated that we weren’t getting calls instead of playing the next possession.”

Of the 24 fouls in the game (Iowa committed 14), three were technicals.

“A physical style of game favors Michigan State, but this is Big Ten basketball and we’re going to see a lot of physical games,” Bluder said.

Bluder remains on 599 career victories as the Hawkeyes slipped to 13-5 overall, 2-2 in the Big Ten. Michigan State, which ended a two-game losing streak in the series, is 15-2, 3-1.

1st 2nd Final
Iowa (13-5, 2-2) 25 29 54
Mich. State (15-2, 3-1)
25 40 65
? Box Score | Attendance: 5,343
Statistical Leaders
? Morgan Johnson — 13 points, 12 reb, 2 blk
? Jaime Printy — 11 points, 4-4 FT, 3 asts
? Bethany Doolittle — 10 points, 5-8 FG, 2 blk
Stats at a Glance
FG Percentage 35.0 37.7
3-Point FG Percentage 14.3 26.3
FT Percentage 83.3 93.3
Total Rebounds 36 42
Points in the Paint 26 30
Points off Turnovers 12 22

Earlier in the week, Iowa hinted that its game plan would center around a height advantage by Bethany Doolittle. Doolittle provided an early spark, but it was from the outside, as she drained her first three field goals and the Hawkeyes owned their largest lead at 8-2 just three minutes into the action. In typical Iowa fashion, all three of Doolittle’s early makes were off assists; but the Hawkeyes assisted just six of their final 18 field goals.

“Offensively, we just didn’t get it together,” Bluder said. “We had nine assists on 21 field goals and that is very unlike us.”

Spartan junior Klarissa Bell finished with a game-high 25 points, and three of those came on a half court buzzer-beater to tie the game, 25-25, at the end of the first half. That didn’t turn out to be a defining spark for Michigan State: the Spartans needed a 14-3 run to close the final 3:30 to put the game out of reach.

“The first half I thought we defended well,” Bluder said. “Then we gave up 40 in the second half and too many paint points.”

Michigan State scored 30 points in the paint, four more than the Hawkeyes.

Iowa’s Morgan Johnson added an 18th double-double to her resume, with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Jaime Printy scored 11 points and was 4-for-4 from the free throw line; she handed out three assists. Doolittle, who started fast, finished with 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting, with two blocked shots.

The Hawkeyes shot well from the free throw line (83.3 percent), but so did Michigan State (93.3) — and the Spartans had three more attempts. Iowa made 35 percent of its field goals (21-of-60); Michigan State made 37.7 percent from the floor for the game, including 13-of-28 over the final 20 minutes (46.4 percent).

“We turned the ball over (14 times) resulting in high-percentage shots for them,” Bluder said. “We did not shoot the ball well, and when you don’t shoot the ball well, you have to do something else well. Either you have to defend extremely well, or you have to rebound really well, and take care of the ball.”

Iowa returns home to Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena against No. 12 Purdue on Sunday at 3 p.m. (CT).

“We have to get the defense back and the cockiness on offense back again,” Bluder said. “A lot of it comes between the ears. We have to get our confidence back. We are not a very confident basketball team right now. We have to feel good about playing in Carver.”