Michigan State Deals Iowa Its First Home Loss In Wild OT Affair
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Michigan State had every reason to fold.
Michigan State responded with the toughness it has shown so often under coach Tom Izzo and emerged from Iowa City with a season-defining win.
Keith Appling scored 16 points and the Spartans outlasted No. 15 Iowa 71-69 in overtime Tuesday night, handing the Hawkeyes their first home loss.
Matt Costello had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Spartans (19-2, 8-1 Big Ten), who avoided consecutive defeats despite the absence of injured starters Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson.
But it took 5 extra minutes -- and an Iowa shooting drought that lasted nearly 15 minutes -- to pull it off.
Costello's tip-in with 1:14 left gave Michigan State a 67-64 lead, and Russell Byrd's 3 with 34 seconds put Michigan State up by six.
Iowa still had a chance to force a second overtime, but Mike Gesell missed a driving layup at the buzzer.
Devyn Marble had 21 points for Iowa (16-5, 5-3), including a layup with 6 seconds left in overtime that snapped the Hawkeyes' streak of 14:50 without a field goal.
The Hawkeyes boast one of the nation's deepest benches, and they kept threatening to run away from the undermanned Spartans early in the second half.
Michigan State wouldn't let it happen.
The tough-minded Spartans had an answer for nearly every basket that could have swung the momentum back in Iowa's favor.
Iowa led 57-51 with 5:58 left, and its crowd began to sense the win. But Appling -- with his shooting wrist heavily taped -- hit a 3, and a layup and dunk by Costello made it 58-57 Spartans.
The Hawkeyes had a chance to win in regulation, but Marble missed a runner just before the buzzer.
That was a theme that doomed the Hawkeyes.
Aaron White had 10 points for Iowa, which lost despite hitting 19 more free throws than Michigan State.
What made the loss even tougher for Iowa was it had been nearly a decade since Iowa City had seen a game this big.
Iowa hadn't hosted a Top 25 opponent as a ranked team since 2006, when it last went to the NCAA tournament. Even Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad made the 2-hour drive from Des Moines to see the program's biggest home game in years.
The Hawkeyes looked like the tighter team early. But the Hawkeyes hung close by building what would end up being a 43-20 edge in free throw attempts.
The second half and overtime proved to be a physical, back-and-forth affair between two teams with serious aspirations of a Big Ten title.
In the end, it was the Spartans who pulled out a game with 16 lead changes, 11 ties and one seemingly inexplicable shooting drought from the typically high-scoring Hawkeyes.
In victory, Michigan State also showed Iowa how slim the margin between contending for a Big Ten title and winning it can be.
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