Jan. 28, 2014
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By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — It was a field goal drought for the ages and No. 7/6 Michigan State was the beneficiary, handing the No. 15/12 University of Iowa men’s basketball team a 71-69 overtime loss to end the Hawkeyes’ 20-game winning streak on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
“I didn’t think we were tough enough,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “We were 2-of-10 on 50-50 balls and you can’t beat Michigan State doing that because every time we didn’t get a 50-50 ball, they scored. Toughness is both physical and mental.”
A Zach McCabe 3-pointer gave Iowa a 50-46 lead with 9:56 remaining in the second half. The 3-point field goal ended up being the team’s final make until a Roy Devyn Marble layup with six seconds remaining in overtime — a 15-minute span.
“We couldn’t make anything,” said junior Aaron White. “We couldn’t get it back, weren’t getting easy shots at the rim and didn’t move like we should have. Everything we were getting was at the free throw line. We couldn’t get anything to go in.”
After Michigan State grabbed a 51-50 lead on a Travis Trice 3-pointer with 8:38 to play, the Hawkeyes scored seven-straight points — all at the free throw stripe — to build a 57-51 advantage with 5:58 to play.
Spartan guard Keith Appling answered with a back-breaker 3-pointer on the next possession, cutting the lead in half with the shot clock winding down, and forward Matt Costello followed with a layup and dunk, giving Michigan State a 58-57 lead with 4:06 to play.
The final seven points of regulation all came at the free line, but both teams missed key opportunities at the stripe. Sophomore Mike Gesell made 1-of-2 attempts to tie the game at 60 with 1:25 left before Spartan guard Gary Harris did the same to give Michigan State a 61-60 lead with 1:04 remaining.
After Gesell made 1-of-2 a second time to tie the game at 61 with 47 seconds left, the Hawkeyes got the defensive stop it needed, forcing an Appling miss from long range. Iowa held for the last shot and went to Marble, but his off-balance jumper from the lane missed. Basabe secured the offensive rebound, but his tip did the same, sending the game to overtime.
“We wanted to put the ball in Marble’s hands there,” said McCaffery. “He had a good look and (so did) Basabe with the tip.”
Iowa struck first in overtime when a pair of White free throws put Iowa up 63-61, but Appling answered with a 3-pointer to give the Spartans a 64-63 lead. After Marble hit 1-of-2 from the foul stripe to tie the game at 64 with 2:08 left, Costello hit 1-of-2 free throws, but Michigan State kept the possession alive with two offensive rebounds, the latter of which resulted in tip-in by Costello to push the lead to 67-64.
Following a Marble 3-point miss, Michigan State’s Russell Bryd delivered a dagger, hitting a 3-pointer from the corner to push the Spartan lead to 70-64 with 34 seconds remaining. Iowa stayed alive and closed the gap courtesy of three Spartan miscues at the free throw line in the final 11 seconds.
After Appling missed both attempts with a chance to ice the game with 4.7 seconds left, Gesell went three quarters of the court following an Iowa timeout with 4.4 seconds left, but his off-balance layup caromed off the side of the rim, sending Michigan State to the71-69 victory.
“Any loss in this league is big, when you’re going up against a team of that caliber,” said White. “They’re in second place in our league, and we could have jumped them. It is a big let-down.”
Marble led a pair of Hawkeyes in double figures, finishing with a game-high 21 points. The guard made 7-of-15 attempts from the floor and 6-of-8 free throws. White scored 10 points courtesy of an 8-of-8 performance from the foul line and grabbed seven rebounds.
The Hawkeyes shot 37.5 percent (18-of-48) from the floor and 28 percent (3-of-12) from 3-point range. Iowa made 30-of-43 free throws (69.8 percent) and the action was even on the glass, 38-38.
Michigan State made 25-of-59 field goals (42.4 percent), which included a 10-of-29 (34.5 percent) performance from 3-point range. The Spartans made just 11-of-20 free throws in the game. Four Michigan State players reached double figures with Appling leading the way with 16 points. Costello tallied a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Iowa started the game tight offensively, missing seven of its first eight shots, allowing Michigan State to jump out to a 10-3 lead at the 14:50 mark. Iowa’s offense got on track at the free stripe.
A pair of Marble free throws cut the deficit to 10-6 before the Spartans’ Kenny Kaminski drained a 3-pointer to push the Michigan State lead to 13-6. The Hawkeyes followed with eight-straight points, including four straight White free throws to give Iowa a 14-13 advantage with 8:25 left in the half.
The final eight minutes of the first half featured a pair of ties and four lead changes. Iowa pushed its lead to 18-15 at the 6:09 mark before the Spartans grabbed a 19-18 advantage courtesy of a Denzel Valentine 3-pointer with 4:58 remaining. With the score tied at 24, four-straight points from Basabe gave Iowa a 28-24 lead with 1:07 left and the Hawkeyes led 30-26 at the break.
Iowa (16-5, 5-3) returns to action Saturday, facing Illinois in Champaign beginning at 6:30 p.m. (CT).