The Iowa Hawkeyes are now clearly the team to beat in the Big Ten race. Jeff Horner hit a trio of three pointers to trigger a 14-4 second half run as the Hawkeyes took command in a 66-54 win over Michigan State, a record 16th straight victory in Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa coach Steve Alford says he couldn’t be happier with his team, as he says Michigan State is a potential Final Four team. Alford says they outplayed the Spartans on defense and didn’t turn the ball over on offense.
The win allowed the Hawkeyes to avenge a 30-point loss to the Spartans in their first meeting last month. Alford said, “Tonight was our night. I thought we did a lot of good things, we were really efficient in the second half. We shot the ball well, we went inside, we got to the foul line we took care of the ball. So, not a lot of complaints in this one.”
With victories in their two remaining home games this would become the first Iowa team to finish a season unbeaten in Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Alford says there’s been a lot of good teams come through the arena and it’s an accomplishment. But Alford says the thing they’re focused on is a Big Ten title, as he says there hasn’t been one since the arena opened.
Leading 45-43 in the second half Horner hit back-to-back three pointers to trigger the decisive run. Horner says he thought he had a couple of shots early he didn’t take and he says Alford drew up a couple of plays for him and he hit the shots.
Horner says experience has been a big factor in their success. He says it’s a huge factor as they pretty much have the same team as last year and he says everyone gets along well and their playing time together really is paying off. The Hawkeyes are now 20-6 overall. They visit Minnesota this weekend.