The Big Ten slate on Sunday featured a matchup of two storied programs in Michigan State vs. Indiana and Iowa hosting Minnesota. The Hoosiers looked to build off their momentum from their victory against Iowa last Thursday, but fell short after a strong showing in the first half. Minnesota entered its game with Iowa as a 21-point underdog, but someone forgot to tell Minnesota that as they displayed a valiant effort throughout the duration of the game.
Let's see how the action played out.
Game of the Night: Iowa Hawkeyes 75, Minnesota Golden Gophers 71
In a surprising turn of events, the Minnesota Golden Gophers came out like the 21 point favorite instead of having the roles reversed.
Both teams came out ready to compete, but Minnesota stuck around for majority of the first half thanks to a balanced scoring attack and out hustling the Hawkeyes. Iowa's star forward Jarrod Uthoff failed to score a point until three minutes left in the half and managed to pour in nine quick points to take a 34-28 halftime lead.
The Golden Gophers (6-18, 0-12 Big Ten) were in a deficit that hovered around double digits for the first four minutes, but managed to cut Iowa's lead to 49-45 with 11:25 left. Sophomore guard Nate Mason was excellent attacking the rim and taking advantage of Iowa's guards on the perimeter. His dribble drive abilities ultimately helped Minnesota remain competitive throughout the contest.
For every Iowa run, Minnesota had an answer all throughout the second half. Iowa merely led 69-66 with 2:15 remaining. After Iowa extended their lead to 72-66, Iowa put the game away by converting from the free throw line.
Iowa was led once again by Jarrod Uthoff who notched a stellar 24 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks. Guard Peter Jok was also impressive in the scoring column as he contributed 26 points. Senior guard Anthony Clemmons rounded out the double figure scorers for Iowa with 12 points. The Hawkeyes will travel to Happy Valley to take on Penn State Wednesday, February 17 at 6:30 p.m. EST. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.
The Golden Gophers put up a valiant effort which odds makers did not expect. Minnesota was led by Nate Mason's 14 points. Freshman guard Dupree McBrayer chipped in with 12 and forward Jordan Murphy notched 11. Sharpshooting guard Joey King poured in 10 off the bench. The Golden Gophers are back in action on Thursday, February 18 as they travel to College Park to take on the Maryland Terrapins. The game will tipoff at 8:00 p.m. EST on the Big Ten Network.
The Hoosiers came out looking to prove their win against Iowa was no fluke as they took an early 5-2 lead. After a 9-0 run for the Spartans sparked by Denzel Valentine and Bryn Forbes, the Spartans obtained an 11-5 lead and took an 11-8 lead at the under-16 timeout.
Coach Izzo quickly adjusted his lineup to include freshman guard Matt McQuaid to help combat the three point barrage that could strike at any moment from Indiana. Spartan big man Gavin Schilling also checked in to match the Hoosiers' Thomas Bryant's energy and tenacity on the low block. Bryant managed to get the better of the matchup by forcing an offensive foul on Schilling shortly after checking in.
After missing the last seven games, Lourawls "Tum Tum" Nairn saw his first minutes at the 13:00 minute mark. After trading offensive attacks which featured a thunderous poster dunk from Hoosier freshman OG Anunoby and a three pointer from Denzel Valentine, the Hoosiers and Spartans tied the game at 21-21 at the under-12 timeout.
Indiana came out of the time out on fire and managed to use a 13-2 run to help catapult themselves into a 35-26 lead. Forbes and Valentine mustered up a three pointer and an and-one respectively to cut the lead to 35-32. Indiana's three-point shooting didn't stop as sophomore guard Robert Johnson drilled one at the top of the key to extend the Hoosier lead to 40-32 with 3:46 remaining in the first half.
Michigan State took advantage of Yogi Ferrell picking up his second foul by making a run to regain the lead 41-40 at halftime. Indiana missed its last six shots as the first half expired. Graduate transfer Max Bieldfeldt led the way for the Hoosiers with 10 points. Denzel Valentine and Bryn Forbes led the way for Michigan State with 15 and 11 points respectively. The Spartans managed to hold a halftime lead even with zero points coming from the bench.
Indiana's continued attempt at starting Bryant and Bielfeldt forced Michigan State to take one of their big men away from the rim as Bielfeldt was able to stretch the defense to the perimeter and knock down multiple three-point attempts. The Spartans relied on their physicality to help build their lead to 50-45 at the under-16.
Coming out of the timeout, the Spartans jumped out to a 9-2 run to help push the lead to 59-47 at the 13:23 mark. It wouldn't be a proper Valentine's Day without a stellar performance from Denzel Valentine. A three-pointer from Valentine put him in double-double watch with 23 points and eight assists to go along with four rebounds.
By the under-12 media timeout, the Spartans continued to use Denzel Valentine's multi-faceted abilities to extend the lead to 66-49 with less than 10 minutes remaining in the contest. The Spartan lead never fell below 10 for the rest of the game, as senior big man Matt Costello helped lead the way with Valentine with a career-high day in the point column.
Indiana was led by Max Bielfeldt who notched 15 points and 10 rebounds, Robert Johnson who tallied 11 and Thomas Bryant who poured in 10 points and five rebounds. Star point guard Yogi Ferrell struggled with his shot going for only nine points on 3-for-10 from the field. Colin Hartman led the Hoosier bench with 11 points. The Hoosier take to the hardwood again on Wednesday, February 17 as they host Nebraska. The game will tipoff at 8:30 p.m. and be televised on the Big Ten Network.
Matt Costello contributed a career-high 22 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Denzel Valentine continued his Big Ten Player of the Year campaign with 30 points, 13 assists and five rebounds. Bryn Forbes was the other Spartan to crack double figures with 14 points. After going scoreless in the first half, the Spartan bench notched 12 points. Michigan State hosts Wisconsin on Thursday, February 18. The game will begin at 9 p.m. EST and be televised on the Big Ten Network.