7:00 PM ET, January 28, 2014
Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- If Michigan State thought that hosting Michigan without two starters was tough, wait until it gets to Iowa.The Hawkeyes have been waiting a long time for a game this big.A home win on Tuesday night over the seventh-ranked Spartans would be crucial to Iowa's Big Ten title hopes. The Hawkeyes (16-4, 5-2 Big Ten) also will go for a school-record 21st straight victory at Carver-Hawkeye Arena against a program that's almost always a factor for the league title."If you're going to win a championship -- for any team in this league -- you're going to go through Michigan State. That's just the standard that Tom (Izzo) has set," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said of his counterpart with the Spartans. "There's a respect factor there and a realization that to beat them is something special."But the team Izzo will bring to Iowa City might not be as special as the one he hopes to have by March.Michigan State forward Branden Dawson (10.2 points and 8.7 rebounds a game) is out for at least a month with a broken right hand. Senior Adreian Payne (16.2 points and 7.7 rebounds) also will likely miss his sixth straight game with a foot injury. Izzo said Monday that Payne is "very doubtful" for the Iowa game.Still, Izzo was encouraged by the toughness his undermanned team showed in Saturday's loss to Michigan.Spartans star Keith Appling had 10 points and 10 assists despite a painful wrist injury on his right shooting hand, and yet Michigan State had the game tied with less than four minutes left."This gives us a little bit of confidence. We were down two of our best players and played pretty well against them. We just have to regroup and tear up the rest of the Big Ten," Michigan State forward Matt Costello said.The Spartans (18-2, 7-1) are hoping to simply match what Iowa accomplished a week ago: Answer a loss to league-leading Michigan with a win on the road.The Hawkeyes fell for just the second time in the Big Ten last week, losing 75-67 up in Ann Arbor. But they bounced back with their second rout of Northwestern this season, beating the Wildcats 76-50 in Evanston.Northwestern had defeated Illinois, Indiana and Purdue in a span of nine days. But the Hawkeyes overwhelmed the Wildcats with their depth, outrebounding Northwestern 44-20 while getting scoring from nine different players.The absence of Dawson and Payne could be especially difficult for Michigan State because Iowa has nearly a dozen players it uses in Big Ten play."I think that's rather unique, to have that many players all of whom could legitimately be starters because the reality is we all know everybody wants to start," McCaffery said. "We have guys that don't care if they start. They know they're going to play. They know they're going to have a valuable role, and they share the ball."Izzo sees the game as a chance for the Spartans to show their mental toughness and character, and he's confident his team will stick together."Whether you can regroup and come off an emotional game like that and get ready for arguably one of the best teams in the league on the road, we're going to find out a little bit more about our team. But I like our chances. I really do," Izzo said. "This team pulls for each other better than any other team I've had here."
|Avg Points Allowed||65.8||70.2|
|Conference||Big Ten||Big Ten|
Michigan State averages 22.1 transition points per game, fourth most in the nation. Iowa's 20.6 transition points per game rank 12th.
Michigan State outscores its opponents by +11.0 transition points per game, second-best differential in the nation behind BYU (+11.4).
Iowa averages a Big Ten-high 37.1 points per game in the paint. Michigan State allows a Big Ten-low 23.1 points per game in paint.
Michigan State assists on 62% of its field goals, best in the Big Ten and 15th in the nation.
Michigan State outscored Iowa 22-11 in transition Tuesday. The Spartans entered the game outscoring their opponents by an average of 11 points per game in transition, the second-best differential in the nation (BYU +11.4).[+]
Transition Offense, Tuesday
Iowa led by 4 points with 9:15 remaining in the 2nd half, but made just 1 field goal the rest of the game, a span of 14:15 including OT. Remarkably, they hit 17 free throws to stay in the game, while Michigan State missed 7 of its 12 free-throw attempts.[+]
Hawkeyes Go Cold - Final 14:15 of Game
Iowa was held to 28 points in the paint against Michigan State Tuesday, tied for its second fewest this season and well below the Hawkeyes' Big Ten-leading 37.1 per game. The Hawkeyes scored 16 paint points in the first half but were held to 12 in the second half and overtime.
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