The Iowa Hawkeyes could not finish off Michigan State Thursday night and the Spartans made them pay. Iowa was ahead 55-51 with two minutes to go, but the Hawks were outscored 11-4 to finish the game with a 62-59 loss.
The Hawkeyes are now 0-3 in the Big Ten. Iowa coach Fran McCaffrey admits he was perturbed.
“The reason I wasn’t happy at all was because and how hard they fought on defense and how hard they fought on the glass and I wanted them to have the opportunity to win that game and we just couldn’t get anything going offensively,” McCaffery said during a post-game interview on the Hawkeye Radio Network. “…It was very similar to the Indiana game in that sense. Fought, fought, fought, but couldn’t execute offensively. (We) turned the ball over in key situations, turned the ball over too much. You know we should not turn the ball over 18 times against a team that plays half-court man (defense) — not at home.”
The Hawkeyes had a key late turnover, fouled a three-point shooter and missed three free throws down the stretch, while the Spartans connected on all seven of their free throws in the waning seconds as they improve to 2-1 in the Big Ten.
The Hawks played without leading scorer Roy Devyn Marble who sprained an ankle in practice this week. Zach McCabe helped pick up the slack with 15 points, including three of six from three point range.
“Us guys knew that we had to bring it,” McCabe said after the game. “…We’ve just got to keep growing stronger as a team.”
Melsahn Basabe added 14 points for the Hawks and Aaron White added 11. Iowa returns to action Sunday at Northwestern.