Watching the Michigan State Spartans host the Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday night was painful for anyone cheering for the Green and White.
Tom Izzo’s teams only loss of the season came at the hands of the Hawkeyes to close out December. Thursday night was the time everyone expected the Spartans to repay the favor to the Hawkeyes as Denzel Valentine returned to the starting lineup after missing the first match-up between the two teams and two other conference games.
But Valentine and the Spartans were not up to speed against a Hawkeye team that outplayed the Spartans on both ends of the court during a 76-59 loss.
Leading the Spartans was forward Matt Costello with 15 points and nine rebounds. He was followed by Valentine with 14 points as the Spartans trailed 47-25 at the half.
Iowa move to 4-0 in Big Ten play and 13-3 overall as guard Peter Jok led the Hawkeyes with 23 points. Joining Jok in double figures was Jarrod Uthoff (15 points), Anthony Clemmons (13 points) and Dom Uhl (10 points). But the talk of the night was how it looked like the Spartans were being out hustled by the Hawkeyes.
Michigan State moves to 16-2 on the season with both losses coming in Big Ten play. The Spartans return to the court Sunday on the road at Wisconsin.