March 6, 2014
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By JAMES ALLAN
EAST LANSING, Mich. — No. 22 Michigan State put up nearly 50 second-half points and outscored the No. 24/25 University of Iowa men’s basketball team by 12 points over the final 20 minutes en route to an 86-76 victory Thursday night in the Breslin Center.
The Hawkeyes led 41-39 at the break before the Spartans ratcheted up their defense in the second half. Michigan State held Iowa without a point over the first four-plus minutes and scored the first nine points of the second half — five by guard Keith Appling — to build a 48-41 lead.
“Michigan State did a good job of making adjustments coming out of the half, and they were a lot more physical,” said senior Roy Devyn Marble, who scored a game-high 24 points and moved into sixth place on Iowa’s career scoring list. “They were using their hands a lot on defense and the refs were letting them play. We didn’t adjust the way we needed to.”
Marble ended the Iowa drought with a layup at the 15:47 mark, six-straight points from junior Aaron White cut the deficit to 53-49 and two Gabriel Olaseni free throws made the score 53-51 with 13:23 to play.
From there, the Spartans showed why they have the potential to make a deep run in March.
Michigan State scored seven-straight and 15-of-19 points to open up a 68-55 lead. Spartan guard Travis Trice scored the final eight points of the run, courtesy of two 3-pointers and a running floater. Michigan State broke the game open, extending the lead to a game-high 19 points (84-65) courtesy of an Appling fast-break 3-pointer with 3:27 to play.
Marble’s 24 points — his fifth-straight game with 20 or more points — came on 9-of-17 shooting — 16 coming in the first half. He went 2-of-6 from 3-point range and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe and also handed out five assists. White was the only other Hawkeye in double figures, netting 10 points — all in the second half — on 5-of-8 shooting.
The Hawkeyes shot 46.7 percent (28-of-60) from the floor and 35 percent (7-of-20) from 3-point range. Iowa forced 16 Spartan turnovers, but couldn’t overcome Michigan State’s hot shooting. The Spartans finished 58.3 percent (28-of-48) from the field and made 10-of-17 3-pointers (58.8 percent).
Michigan State also won the rebounding battle, 29-27, and made 20-of-26 free throw attempts.
Five Spartans reached double digits on Senior Night. Trice led Michigan State with 17 points off the bench, while Adrien Payne (14 points), Denzel Valentine (13 points), Gary Harris (12 points) and Appling (12 points) all reached double figures. Valentine also had nine assists and six rebounds in the game.
Marble got off to a quick start, scoring nine of Iowa’s first 13 points before junior Josh Oglesby drained back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Hawkeyes a 19-18 advantage at the under-12 media timeout. The two teams combined to make 15-of-21 field goals and 5-of-6 3-point attempts to start the contest.
“I wanted to come out and be aggressive, and do what I’ve been doing,” said Marble. “I was trying to get us off to a good start, and we were able to do that. Unfortunately, I don’t think we got as many stops as we could have to extend that lead.”
Michigan State used a Valentine 3-pointer to grab a 26-21 lead at the 8:26 mark before pushing its advantage to 33-27 on a Payne 3-ball and Harris free throw. The Hawkeyes followed with a 7-0 run behind a Zach McCabe layup, Marble 3-pointer and Oglesby free throw to take a 34-33 lead with 3:22 left in the half.
Iowa led 41-39 at the break despite Michigan State shooting 53.8 percent (14-of-26) from the field and 62.5 percent from 3-point range. After starting the game 8-of-12, Iowa made 15-of-32 field goals (46.9 percent) over first 20 minutes, including five 3-pointers. Marble was 7-of-10 from the floor en route to 16 first-half points.
“How great was Devyn Marble in the first half?” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “I am so amazed in his continued development, he keeps getting better. With that kind of first-half performance by Devyn and the rest of our team, we should have been up by more than two. Then that changes everything.”
The Hawkeyes (20-10, 9-8) return home to host Illinois in their regular season finale Saturday at 7:35 p.m. (CT) inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The game will serve as Senior Night with Iowa honoring Marble, McCabe and Melsahn Basabe.
“We have to have a short memory,” said Marble. “We have to get back home, get ready for Illinois, learn from our mistakes and move on.”