Two weeks ago, Iowa sat in position to challenge for a Big Ten title. The Hawkeyes have since become one of the coldest teams in the league.
Michigan State sent Iowa to its fourth loss in five games, 86-76, in East Lansing. The Hawkeyes fell into a fifth-place tie with Ohio State. They'll need help in moving up a spot and gaining a first-round bye in next week's conference tournament.
No. 24 Iowa led, 41-39, at halftime behind an inspired effort from Michigan native Roy Devyn Marble. The Spartans responded on Senior Day.
No. 22 Michigan State began the second half on a 9-0 run. The Hawkeyes (20-10, 9-8 Big Ten) stayed within five points of the lead midway through the period but MSU would not be denied.
The Spartans pushed their advantage to 77-59 courtesy of a 17-4 run during the next five minutes. The biggest excitement for Iowa late in the game resulted from technical fouls on Coach Fran McCaffery and senior Zach McCabe. The latter threw Michigan State guard Travis Trice to the court and was fortunate not to be ejected from the contest.
Marble finished with 24 points and five assists during the final game in his home state. Aaron White added 10 points (all in the second half) in a losing effort. Trice (17 points) led five different Spartans in double figure scoring. Denzel Valentine contributed 13 points and six rebounds for the winners.
Michigan State shot 58.3 percent from the field, including 11-22 (63.6) in the second half. The Spartans connected on 10 of 17 three-point attempts. They defeated Iowa for the 18th consecutive time in East Lansing dating back to 1993.
Iowa returns home Saturday night to honor its seniors in a contest against Illinois. The Hawkeyes need to win and hope Nebraska (10-8 Big Ten) loses to Wisconsin in Lincoln to earn a league tournament four seed. They win the tiebreaker.