Both teams used scrappy defense in this one from start to finish. However, it was a hot shooting streak by Iowa point guard Jeff Horner that put the Spartans out of reach. Horner scored 15 points in the contest to go along with six assists. Horner hit three of his four three-pointers in the second half and finished 4-6 from the behind the arc.
The Spartans once again were stifled on the road and struggled to find the answer on the offensive end. Maurice Ager continues to struggle from a scoring perspective which has made the Spartans rely heavily on Paul Davis and Shannon Brown. Davis led the Spartans with 17 points and 11 rebounds but had six turnovers.
"Maurice is struggling a little bit right now, and I think he is the kind of player that works hard and will come around," Izzo said. "He is playing with a lot of pressure on himself right now."
It was Brown who seemed to bail the Spartans out time after time in the second half. Iowa did a good job mixing up their defense in the second half switching from man-to-man to a zone on several occasions to confuse Michigan State.
The turnover ratio was one of the keys for Iowa in winning this game. Michigan State struggled in the second half while Iowa didn't turn it over for nearly 16 minutes in the second half. To start the game Iowa turned the ball over three times within the first two minutes to give Michigan State an early 10-4 lead, but it was the Spartans who got careless with the ball down the stretch and late in the first half.
Izzo said, "We had three turnovers on break-away layups, I was happy to only be down by four going into the half."
The home crowd was definitely a factor for Iowa on Tuesday night at Carver Arena. The Hawkeyes are now 15-0 at home this season, better than anybody else in the nation. With the win, Iowa set a school record with 16 straight home wins. David Brunner also scored 15 points to go along with 10 rebounds in the record-breaking victory.
Michigan State tried to make a run just under the five-minute mark they had the ball trailing 60-50 when Maurice Ager drove the lane and threw the ball away to an Iowa defender that led to a fast break dunk. That change of events seemed to take a lot of energy out of the Spartans and they never fought back.
"You can't have 11 turnovers between your seniors (Davis and Ager) and expect to win the game," Izzo told the media after the game.