Iowa has won its last three matchups against Michigan State. The Hawkeyes will look to extend that streak when they visit the Spartans in East Lansing on Thursday night.
Iowa had a four-game Big Ten winning streak snapped at Ohio State on Saturday, when the Hawkeyes (12-7, 4-4) gave up a season-high in points in the 93-77 defeat.
Ohio State racked up 56 points in the second half, making 22 of 34 field-goal attempts and grabbing eight offensive rebounds during those 20 minutes.
“Very poor performance defensively and on the glass,” Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery said. “They didn’t miss many shots and when they did, they got them back. That makes it really hard to win.”
The Buckeyes scored 50 points in the paint.
“Shooters were open, they had open lanes to the basket,” Iowa forward Kris Murray said. “Our rotations need to be better, especially in the first half.”
Murray will be the focus of the Spartans’ defense. He’s averaging 21.3 points and 8.9 rebounds.
“We’re 4-4 in the Big Ten, obviously we’d like to be better than that but we have a big one (Thursday) and we’ll be ready for it,” Murray said.
The Spartans (13-7, 5-4) have lost three of their last four games, including an 82-69 defeat at Indiana on Sunday.
Michigan State has gone without forward Malik Hall the last three games due to a foot injury. He’ll be out again on Thursday.
“His experience, his ability to guard. He’s just our most versatile guy,” coach Tom Izzo said.
Joey Hauser led the Spartans against the Hoosiers with 22 points but Izzo is worried about wearing him out with Hall sidelined. Hauser has played 30-plus minutes in all but three games this season.
“There’s no question that Malik Hall is penciled in to play 30 minutes per game, minimum. So that’s 30 minutes you have to find from other guys,” said Izzo, adding, “Joey and Tyson (Walker) have played the most minutes in the grueling schedule and I think just kind of wore them down.”
–Field Level Media