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1/24 Big Ten Recap: Michigan State Blows Past Iowa

Iowa started off strong but the Spartans took care of business down the stretch.

NCAA Basketball: Michigan State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

In tonight’s only game the Michigan State Spartans traveled to Iowa City to face a hot Hawkeyes team.

Let’s take a look at what happened tonight.

Game of the Night

#6 Michigan State Spartans 82, #19 Iowa Hawkeyes 67

While the Hawkeyes got off to a rough start in conference play, they bounced back from a road loss to Purdue and had won five straight games heading into tonight’s showdown with Michigan State. Of course the Spartans have won twelve straight and beat Iowa earlier in the season by 22 points, so the Spartans were set to prove a bigger challenge for the Hawkeyes.

One of the biggest issues for Iowa heading into tonight’s game was how the defense would be able to slow down the Spartans offense. And during the first half it looked like they were going to be able to get the job done, holding Michigan State to 38% shooting, 22% from three and forcing 10 turnovers. Unfortunately for Iowa, they sent Michigan State to the line for 11 free throws (Michigan State went 11-11) and struggled from outside (4 of 13 from three), allowing Michigan State to enter the break down only four points.

As for the second half? Well, the Spartans offense finally got rolling and Iowa’s offense couldn’t manage to keep up. After being held to 31 points in the first half, it took just over nine minutes in the second half for the Spartans to already score 32 points (on their way to 51 in the second). After a bad half shooting the ball Michigan State would shoot 66.7% in the second, 60% from three and 90% from the line while out rebounding Iowa 21-11.

At one point Iowa held a 50-42 lead in the second. The Spartans answered with a 40-17 run to close the game.

Cassius Winston led the Spartans in scoring with 23 points, while Nick Ward was big again with 21 points and 10 rebounds. The game could have gotten even more out of hand if not for the Spartans committing a dreadful 19 turnovers compared to the 6 Iowa committed.

Iowa got strong performances from Tyler Cook and Luka Garza, with the duo combing to score 37 points. Unfortunately the remaining three starters only added 10 points on 4 of 20 shooting. Iowa ended the night shooting 38.6% from the field, 20.8% from three on 24 attempts and were out rebounded 25-43. While Iowa had 13 less turnovers than Michigan State and shot 19 more field goals, they still ended up losing by 15 points.

Up next for Michigan State on Sunday is a road trip to Purdue while Iowa will travel to face Minnesota.