The Michigan State Spartans were defeated by the Iowa Hawkeyes in blowout fashion on Saturday afternoon. The final score was Iowa 88, Michigan State 58.
Coming into this afternoon’s game with some momentum after back-to-back victories over the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Penn State Nittany Lions, Michigan State had an extremely poor performance today, and reverted back to the version of the team that has showed itself one too many times this season.
Michigan State showed some energy in the first minute of the game, scoring the first four points of the game, and leading 6-3 after about the first two minutes of gameplay, however, the first half was all Iowa after that. The Hawkeyes went on a tear, hitting multiple three-pointers and taking a commanding lead of 33-13 with about nine minutes in the half to play.
Iowa went on to take a 46-27 lead into the locker rooms at halftime. The Hawkeyes shot a blistering 61.5 percent from three-point range in the first half, making eight shots from deep on 13 attempts. Iowa shot 16-for-30 (53.3 percent) overall in the first 20 minutes. Michigan State, on the other hand, shot just 31.4 percent from the field in the first half (11-for-35). The Spartans were putrid from three-point range, hitting just two shots on 11 attempts from behind the arc.
The second half didn’t go much better for MSU. The Hawkeyes outscored the Spartans 42-31 in the final 20 minutes of game action.
Iowa shot 49 percent (32-for-65) from the floor and 52 percent from three-point range (13-for-25). Michigan State shot just 22-for-62 (35.5 percent) overall and made a miserable six three-pointers on 21 shots (28.6 percent). The Hawkeyes also out-rebounded the Spartans 46-37, and had more assists (24-18).
Sophomore guard Rocket Watts was ruled out in the second half due to health and safety protocols, which is something to keep an eye on moving forward.
Rocket Watts has been out this half due to heath and safety precautions and won't return, per a team spokesperson— Kyle Austin (@kylebaustin) February 13, 2021
Gabe Brown led the Spartans with 15 points off the bench. Aaron Henry scored 13 points with four rebounds and two assists. Joshua Langford scored 11 points with four boards, and Joey Hauser scored nine points and had seven rebounds.
Joe Wieskamp led the Hawkeyes in scoring with 21 points (including five three-pointers), and he also chipped in seven rebounds and three assists. Jack Nunge also had a big game with 18 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Connor McCaffery added 16 points, while Luka Garza was quiet with eight points (making just three shots on 11 attempts) with eight boards and three assists.
Michigan State — now with a record of 10-8 overall and 4-8 in Big Ten play — will look to rebound on Tuesday night, as the Spartans hit the road and travel to West Lafayette, Indiana to take on the Purdue Boilermakers. That game is set for a 7 p.m. tip-off time and will be broadcast on ESPN.