Spartans Take Out the Hawkeyes 77-66!
East Lansing, MI
Michigan State came into this game reeling from loss to arch rival Michigan earlier in the week and the Hawkeyes paid for it. The Spartans beat their Big Ten West foe 77-66 tonight here at the Breslin Center.
Despite the Spartans epidemic of woeful turnovers, MSU had 21 for the night (second straight game) while Iowa had only eight, and still MSU found a way to win. The Spartans owned the boards with a 46-32 advantage. It was a gutsy win for a Spartan team that didn’t play their best, against a good Iowa team.
Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo said of his teams win, “I figured out that I have been lying to you. I have said that we have to get more consistent and we are. Consistent at turnovers. This was a big win for us. We had some guys that played in stretches. Defensively to hold them to 33% and still have 21 turnovers, that is frustrating and I am not understanding it. If the Twitter mongrels have something to say they should say it to me. 21 turnovers are like six interceptions and 15 penalties. You can’t win with 21 turnovers and we are not valuing the ball. It should all fall on me so you should get on me and the harder you get on me, the harder I am going to get on them. I shouldn’t let it ruin a good day.”
On the night Miles Bridges led the way again with another double double. He had 16 points and 11 rebounds and four acrobatic blocks. Fellow freshman Joshua Langford had a big night hauling in 11 points and five boards. With a new slick haircut another freshman in Nick Ward also hit double digits in the scoring column. Ward added 14 points and five rebounds. Yet another freshman, PF Cassius Winston rounded out the double digit scores adding 12 points and five assists. That put all four freshmen for Izzo in double digits. The first time that has happened all year.
Izzo said of his young stars contribution that, “I tell parents, I tell coaches and I tell media that there is a process and I think sometimes I am asking too much of these guys. I think you see what Joshua Langford can be and man I am really proud of him. Nick Ward didn’t play well at Michigan, so we brought him off the bench. I think he was the most dialed in as he has been all season and then he gets two fouls and comes out and stayed just as dialed in. They are getting better, but it is a process. All of them have the same issues.”
Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said of the MSU freshman, “That is a good group of players and they are impressive to me. All of them.”
The Spartans defense was stellar holding Iowa to just 33% shooting while the offense nailed 48% of their shots. MSU was still not great from the line hitting only 71%. The Hawkeyes had an unbelievable 21 points off of MSU turnovers while the Spartans managed only to get 11.
McCaffery saw his Hawkeyes fall to 14-12 (6-7) on the season and said of the game in more detail, “They really got up into us. They were connected; we did have some open looks from some really good shooters that we just didn’t make. The ball movement was fine, we moved the ball. We weren’t really working hard to get open or screening people. We were just hanging around and then got caught at the end of the shot clock just throwing up a shot. We have to do a better job of execution against a team of this caliber on the road and they made it hard.”
Izzo added, “We beat a damn good team and a very well coached team. Miles (bridges) played 37 minutes and that is too many minutes. That is my fault. He still gets 11 rebounds and hits 50% turnovers with only one turnover. We have to get him more minutes than that. That was not good coaching.”
Michigan State saw their record on the season improve to 15-10 (7-5). The Spartans return to action right here at the Breslin Center on Tuesday at 9 PM hosting The Ohio State Buckeyes. That game can be seen on ESPN.