Iowa routs No. 4 Michigan State again
EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Bryn Forbes must be thrilled Michigan State does not have another scheduled game against Iowa.
Forbes was held to a season-low two points, after scoring just three in the previous meeting, and the 16th-ranked Hawkeyes routed the fourth-ranked Spartans 76-59 on Thursday night.
"Bryn struggles when people are physical," Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said.
Forbes got in foul trouble and couldn’t overcome it, missing all five of his shots and making two free throws. He entered the game averaging 14.4 points for the Spartans.
"Bryn’s got a lot of work to do," Izzo said.
The Spartans (16-2, 3-2 Big Ten) do, too.
"We have to play for one another and respond," Denzel Valentine said after having 14 points, five assists and four rebounds.
Iowa proved it could beat, dominate in fact, Michigan State even with Valentine on the court.
Valentine played in his second straight game since returning from a four-game absence while recovering from knee surgery.
"He’s not back to normal," Izzo said.
Valentine watched from the bench on Dec. 29 when the Hawkeyes beat the then-top ranked Spartans 83-70.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffery insisted it didn’t make much of a difference to have Valentine on the court.
That was clear.
With or without Valentine, the Hawkeyes have shot better and hustled more than Michigan State.
"They made shots and they got every loose ball," Izzo lamented. "It hurts me to admit it, but they did it twice. We’re going to have to regroup."
The Spartans were down by 22 points at halftime to Iowa, their largest deficit at home since at least the 1996-97 season and their biggest anywhere in the regular season since trailing at Michigan by 23 points at halftime in 1997, according to STATS.
"I think Fran hit a 3 in the first half," Izzo joked without smiling.
The Hawkeyes (13-3, 4-0) beat Michigan State on the road for the first time since 1993, ending an 18-game losing streak.
"To beat one of the best teams in the Big Ten on their home court is big," Jarrod Uthoff said. "It doesn’t matter what happened 23 years ago."
Uthoff finished with 15 points after scoring his first points midway through the first half and grabbed 10 rebounds. Anthony Clemmons scored 13 points and reserve Dom Uhl had 10 for the Hawkeyes.
Clemmons, playing near his hometown, had eight points in the first half to help the Hawkeyes run their offense well even though point guard Mike Gesell played just 2 minutes before halftime because he had two fouls.
"His ability to play the point for (16) minutes with Gesell out was amazing," McCaffery said. "I almost didn’t take him out."
Iowa: The Hawkeyes have won six straight this season since losing at Iowa State and 10 conference games in a row, dating to last year, for the first time since the 1969-70 season.
Michigan State: Matt Costello had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Spartans, who failed to make much of a run in the second half to potentially make the game competitive. Michigan State made just 42 percent of its shots and no one other than Costello and Valentine scored in double figures. "They just threw some defenses at us and messed with our minds a little bit," Valentine said. "But this was unacceptable. We didn’t dictate anything."
Iowa hosts Michigan on Sunday.
Michigan State plays at Wisconsin on Sunday.
Clemmons, Valentine and Forbes, all of whom are seniors, helped Lansing Sexton High School win back-to-back state championships. McCaffery said he appreciates that Izzo welcomes Clemmons to work out at Michigan State’s basketball facility with the Spartans in the summer.