By JAMES ALLAN
EAST LANSING, Mich. — The University of Iowa men’s basketball team’s first true road test of the season didn’t go as planned.
No. 10 Michigan State handed the 18th-ranked Hawkeyes a 90-68 loss Monday night at the Breslin Center.
Iowa (6-2, 0-2) trailed 26-25 with 6:55 left in the first half before the Spartans took over. Cassius Winston’s 3-pointer pushed the lead to 33-26 to force an Iowa timeout before the Spartans built their first-half lead to 11 points. Iowa trailed 43-33 at the break.
The Spartans carried their momentum into the second half, scoring the first nine points to build a 52-33 lead. Michigan State’s run extended to 40-11 at the midway point of the second half, pushing its lead to 66-36. The Spartans biggest advantage was 74-41 with 8:24 to play.
The Hawkeyes didn’t have an answer for Michigan State’s front court. The trio of Nick Ward, Kenny Goins, and Xavier Tillman combined for 59 points and 31 rebounds. Ward led all scorers with 26 points, going 10-for-10 from the field, while Goins had a game-high 14 rebounds.
“We did a poor job in the zone,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “We got isolated on our small forward a couple of times, and that is a tough cover for them. They got some stuff in transition, which we were trying to guard against and we didn’t do a good job.”
The Spartans moved and shared the basketball to the tune of 28 assists on 31 field goals. Winston had 14 assists, helping Michigan State shoot 51.7 percent with 48 points coming in the paint.
Iowa finished with a 32.8 field goal percentage, making 21-of-64 field goals. Junior Tyler Cook paced the Hawkeyes with 15 points to go along with eight rebounds. Junior Isaiah Moss scored 13 and junior Jordan Bohannon finished with 11.
QUOTING HEAD COACH FRAN MCCAFFERY
“Everything went wrong (at the start of the second half). We didn’t get anything going offensively, they did and it was their ball to start. They got some good offensive possessions, we had a couple of turnovers, and had a few good looks, but didn’t make it. It snowballed quickly. I thought about calling a timeout on the second basket, but didn’t in case we needed it in the end. I probably should have.”
- Michigan State’s 90 points are the most surrendered by the Hawkeyes this season.
- Freshman Joe Wieskamp finished with eight points and four rebounds before leaving the game in the second half after rolling his ankle.
- Moss finished with 13 points, his second game in double figures this season.
ON THE HORIZON
The Hawkeyes return to action Thursday, hosting Iowa State in an Iowa Corn Cy-Hawk Series matchup on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.