EAST LANSING – Michigan State trailed by three points with 15:44 left in the first half – Iowa's Jordan Bohannon, Keegan Murray, and Connor McCaffery each hit 3-pointers at the first media timeout.
Then the Hawkeyes were off to the races as they hit 8-of-13 threes and shot 53.3% from the field (16-for-30) with no end in sight.
Meanwhile, MSU missed seven straight shots and 11-of-13 to fall behind 33-13 with eight minutes remaining.
The Spartans had a simple game plan Saturday afternoon; in an attempt to slow star center Luka Garza down, Michigan State double and triple-teamed him – limiting the big man to eight points on eleven shot attempts.
However, cheating off of Iowa's non-shooters had the direct opposite effect desired; instead, Murray and McCaffery drained shots they usually wouldn't have, resulting in the Spartans nearly getting run off their own court in the first 20-minutes.
It didn't help that Aaron Henry was subbed out at the 12:29 mark and would not return for nearly 8-minutes.
Michigan State's best defender and facilitator can't afford to be on the bench in a game of this magnitude, with MSU's tournament hopes on the line.
Upon being reinserted into the lineup, he finished the first half with eight points on 3-of-5 shooting, two rebounds, and two assists.
We'll see what MSU does following intermission, but the offense needs to step up.
The Spartans shot 31% (11-of-35) and 2-of-11 from beyond the arc, which quick math tells us is 18.2% – not good.
Michigan State opened the second half with a 4-0 run, and Joe Wieskamp countered with a three, much like both teams did in the first.
From there, Iowa continued its onslaught of 3-pointers, scoring 14 points compared to MSU's single basket spanning three minutes.
And a 7-0 run for the Spartans barely made a dent, putting them within 22-points of the Hawkeyes.
Garza walked to the free-throw line after Michigan State's seventh foul of the half (16th overall), but that wasn't MSU's problem with 7:58 left as they trailed by 26-points; poor shooting and perimeter defense held them back today.
Not much changed in the final minutes; Iowa remained hot from everywhere on the floor, stringing together another 16-4 run.
McCaffery and Wieskamp hit back-to-back threes, giving the Hawkeyes an insurmountable 79-45 lead.
Unfortunately for Spartan fans, the 30-point shellacking is Michigan State's largest home loss in Tom Izzo's tenure as head coach.
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