Iowa fell to 0-3 to start Big Ten play after a hard-fought 62-59 loss to No. 22 Michigan State Thursday night in Iowa City.
Izzo: "We feel fortunate to get out of here with a win."
The Hawks, now 11-5 overall, faced the Spartans without leading scorer Devyn Marble. Marble rolled an ankle in practice earlier in the week and was unavailable to suit up for Fran McCaffery’s squad. For a while during the first half it didn’t look like the Hawks would miss him as Iowa opened the game on a 7-0 run just as it did last Sunday against Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Iowa even led 28-24 at the half, thanks in large part to torrid shooting to open the game. The Hawks knocked down 10 of their first 14 shots and put the Spartans on their heels
"We feel fortunate to get out of here with a win," said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, who has had his share of close calls and losses in Carver-Hawkeye Arena over the years.
The Spartans managed to hold Iowa without a field goal for the final 2 minutes 15 seconds of play.
Zach McCabe paced the Hawkeyes with a season-high 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting while Melsahn Basabe returned to good health and contributed 14 points. Basabe didn’t miss a shot from the floor, going 5 for 5 and was nearly as perfect from the free throw line as he hit 4 of his 5 attempts. Aaron White scored 11, reaching double figures for the 11th time this season.
Anthony Clemmons had six assists. The freshman has had at least six assists in seven of the past eight games. Clemmons had two chances to tie the game late, one at the free throw line and the other after Josh Oglesby couldn’t get an open look from beyond the arc.
Michigan State’s Branden Dawson scored 17 to lead the Spartans (13-3,2-1) while super-frosh Gary Harris chipped in 14. Keith Appling hit on just 3 of his 13 attempts from the floor but still managed to reach double figures with 12 points.
Iowa’s bench out-scored the Spartans 31-12.
Senior Eric May started in place of Marble.
Attendance was listed at 12,872, well short of a sellout for a marquee Big Ten matchup. An early 6:00 start time, mandated by an ESPN2 national telecast, coupled with the fact the game took place mid-week likely suppressed attendance.
Iowa travels to Northwestern Sunday to face the Wildcats. Bill Carmody’s squad owns a five game winning streak over the Hawkeyes inside Welsh-Ryan Arena. The game is scheduled for a 4:35 tip and will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU. McCaffery told reporters after Thursday night’s loss he was unsure of Marble’s status for Sunday.