Hawkeyes Stumble Against No. 6/5 Spartans

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IOWA CITY, Iowa — No. 6/5 Michigan State used a 24-2 run during a six-minute second-half stretch to hand the No. 19/21 University of Iowa men’s basketball team an 82-67 defeat Thursday night on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes led 35-31 at the half before stretching their lead to 45-37 over the first 2 1/2 minutes of the second half.  Junior Tyler Cook scored 11 of Iowa’s first 13 points in the second half, and the Hawkeyes led 50-42 with 16:01 left before the Spartans did what the Spartans do.
“We did a nice job at the beginning of the second half, Tyler had it going,” said senior Nicholas Baer. “That’s something we have to work on, once we’re getting consecutive baskets, instead of trading baskets we’ll be able to turn a six or eight point lead into an 11 or 14 point lead.
“Jordan (Bohannon) had a shot for 3 and we had two good looks at it from 3, and that would have put it at double digits.  That makes it a different game, but unfortunately, they didn’t go in.”
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Cassius Winston cut Iowa’s lead to two and Aaron Henry’s driving lay-up tied the game at 50.  By the time sophomore Luka Garza ended a 14-0 run, the Spartans had taken a 56-52 lead.
Michigan State followed with 10 more to build a 66-52 advantage.  Iowa never got closer than 11 as the Spartans closed the game on a 40-17 run.
“They made adjustments,” said Cook. “They started getting shots and matchups that they liked and they made shots, and we didn’t stop them.”
Iowa finished the game with a 38.6 field goal percentage and went 5-of-24 from 3-point range.  The Hawkeyes entered the game averaging 27.5 free throws per game, but attempted only eight, making all eight attempts.
“We had a lot of open shots that I thought would go down, everyone did,” said Bohannon. “We missed a lot of bunnies and what was an eight-point lead at the time might have been 16 if we had hit some shots.”
Michigan State sizzled in its 51-point second half, shooting 66.7 percent (18-of-27) from the floor, 60 percent (6-of-10) from 3-point range, and 90 percent (9-of-10) from the free throw line.  The Spartans shot 52.9 percent from the field for the game and went 20-of-21 from the free throw line.
Garza paced Iowa with 20 points, making 8-of-14 field goals. Cook had 17 points and six rebounds, while Baer finished with 10 points. 
Winston led all scorers with 23 points to go along with seven assists. Nick Ward had 21 points and 10 rebounds in 28 minutes.
“There were a lot of good things that happened for our team tonight, and you can’t lose sight of that because you get beat. There was a stretch in the game where it got away from us. That’s unfortunate. We had some clean looks. Like I said, we were throwing the ball inside to get to the free-throw line, just to stop the game and slow it down a little bit, so that’s unfortunate.”

  • Tonight’s loss snapped Iowa’s five-game winning streak and was only its second defeat since Dec. 6, 2018.
  • Iowa forced 19 Michigan State turnover, but only managed 19 points.  The Hawkeyes committed just seven turnovers.
  • Michigan State won the rebounding battle, 42-26, and had a 17-8 advantage in fast-break points.
  • Garza led the Hawkeyes in scoring with 20 points. Garza has scored 20+ points in three straight games (Penn State, Illinois, Michigan State).
  • Tyler Cook (17 points) moved past Michael Payne, Chris Kingsbury, and Melsahn Basabe into 32nd place on Iowa’s all-time scoring chart with 1,138 points.

Iowa (16-4, 5-4) returns to action Sunday at Minnesota (14-5, 4-4) in the only regular season meeting between the two teams. Tipoff is slated for 4:05 p.m. (CT) at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.

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