Michigan State Spartans Play and Look Like theTeam They Were Expected to be in March Deflating the Hawkeyes 86 to 76 on Senior Night!
The Michigan State Spartans got a big win on senior night. It was bigger than one win. The Spartans had been disappointing for weeks, but at halftime Tom Izzo challenged his troops and they responded. In the second half they looked and played like the Spartans we expected in 2014. They beat the Hawkeyes 86-76.
The dagger of the game came with 9:33 remaining, when Iowa had played great defense for the nearly the entire length of the shot clock and as the buzzer sounded Travis Trice nailed a floater in the lane to make it 65-55.
Izzo described the game as, ““Man I don’t even know where to start. Interesting game. Give them a lot of credit. They played well, they pushed the ball. At halftime we really pushed Appling. A lot better performance for us in the second half. I have been complaining we weren’t tough enough, but tonight awfully proud.”
Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery had a different perspective. “They made threes. Partly our fault, but you have to give them credit. When they make threes they win when they don’t they lose. They are going to get the ball where they can do some damage, but when they aren’t making threes you can pack the defense in. When you look at this team you wouldn’t think they would have trouble hitting threes with all of their guys that can shoot the three. One of the things that helped them early is that they were hitting early.”
The star of the game was Branden Dawson. He had seven points, eight points, two assists, three blocks and five steals. His coach couldn’t help but praise his young star. “Did an incredible job. BJ kept saying give him to me (Marble) in the huddle. That for us was step in the right direction.”
Dawson told me after the game, “I do play my best when I am having fun. I had fun tonight and it showed. The most fun was not with me though, seeing Keith hitting that three was the happiest moment of the night.”
MSU with this win has clinched EITHER a two or three seed in the B1G Tournament. They WILL NOT play Thursday. As of now: Fri at 6:30 or 9 PM. The Spartans return to action for the final game of the season in Columbus on Sunday. That game against the Buckeyes tips at 4:30 PM and can be seen on CBS.