Michigan State rallies past Iowa 75-61
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Michigan State was limp. Coach Tom Izzo was livid.
So Izzo drew a technical in part to send a message to his team to wake up.
Travis Trice and his teammates responded by shooting their way to perhaps their biggest win of the year.
Trice scored 25 points and hit seven 3-pointers and Michigan State rallied to pound Iowa 75-61 on Thursday night, its ninth straight win over the Hawkeyes.
Branden Dawson had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Spartans (11-5, 2-1 Big Ten), who came back from an 11-point deficit in the first half – one capped when Izzo drew a rare T – by going 8 of 9 from 3-point range in the final 20 minutes.
”To beat a quality team on the road after being down 11, we showed some character. And yet, boy we’ve got a long way to go as far as getting consistent,” Izzo said.
Gabe Olaseni tied a career high with 18 points for the Hawkeyes (11-5, 2-1), who were outscored 47-22 in the second half.
Iowa has had a habit of blowing games – most notably against Texas and Iowa State – with awful starts after the break.
The Hawkeyes feel asleep in that spot yet again versus the Spartans.
Michigan State jumped ahead 53-48 on back-to-back 3s by Trice with just over 10 minutes left. The Iowa crowd then groaned as Tum Tum Nairn Jr. found a wide-open Trice in the corner, and he buried his fourth 3 in 12 minutes to put Michigan State ahead 58-51.
Denzel Valentine had 18 points, nine rebounds and six assists for the Spartans, who opened the second half on a 33-10 spurt.
”It got rough in here. But we responded,” Trice said about Izzo’s halftime speech. ”Along with (Izzo) being mad, we were frustrated with ourselves too because we knew we weren’t playing well.”
Michigan State took control of things early on, making it seem like the Hawkeyes were destined for yet another loss to the Spartans.
The surging Olaseni helped bring Iowa back.
Olaseni tied it up at 20-all on a bank shot, then jogged to half court with his arms extended and a huge smile on his face as the crowd roared its approval.
That helped fuel a 27-10 run to close the half. But the fun wouldn’t last for the Hawkeyes, who suffered their fourth double-digit loss of the year.
”I do think we got shell-shocked at one point when they were hitting shots,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. ”Not only were they hitting them, they were swishing them. They were on fire.”
Iowa: Iowa’s last win against Michigan State came on Feb. 2, 2011. The Hawkeyes stunned the Spartans 72-52 in what was one of the few highlights of coach Todd Lickliter’s brief tenure.
Michigan State: The Spartans were so hot from 3-point range that Aaron White blocked a try by Denzel Valentine – who then corralled the ball, reset his feet and drilled it to put Michigan State ahead 67-55.
Jarrod Uthoff had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Iowa. But he also took 16 shots. Michigan State had 19 assists on 27 field goals.
The Hawkeyes invited ”Mad” Chad Taylor, a chain saw juggler, to perform at halftime. Taylor successfully juggled three chain saws at the same time, but the smell of gas emanating from Taylor’s saws hung in the air at the start of the second half.
Iowa plays at Minnesota on Tuesday.
Michigan State hosts Northwestern on Sunday.