By: Colton Wood
Tom Izzo, the Spartans’ head coach, was just one day removed since his father passing when he attempted to lead the undefeated Spartans to their first conference win of the season. They were soon upset by the Iowa Hawkeyes 83-70.
The Spartans started the game by scoring on their first two possessions, but had trouble getting points on the board the rest of the game. The absence of star guard Denzel Valentine, who missed his second game due to a knee injury, was a key factor in the team’s lack of shooting efficiency.
Turnovers were big for the Spartans as they turned the ball over 16 times in which resulted in 21 points.
Jarod Uthoff, Iowa’s leading scorer, was in foul trouble early and did not play much in the first half after getting get two fouls. It seemed that this would negatively effect Iowa’s scoring, but big performances by Mike Gesell and Peter Jok extended the Hawkeyes’ lead. Gesell recorded a game-high 25 points while scoring 21 of those points in the second half.
Iowa successfully defended senior Bryn Forbes to just three points after he came off a career-high 32 points against Oakland. Eron Harris attempted to step up and lead a comeback, but his 21 points was just not enough for Michigan State.
Michigan State will have to go another game without Denzel Valentine on Saturday when they go on the road to play 6-6 Minnesota. Iowa will also be on the road Saturday when they play the number 14 ranked Purdue Boilermakers.
(Photo Credit: Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo)