Jaden Akins led a balanced attack with 12 points and six rebounds as Michigan State held off Iowa 63-61 on Thursday night in East Lansing, Mich.
Neither team led by more than four in the final 12-plus minutes, and the score was stuck at 59-apiece for more than three minutes as the sides traded empty possessions. Tyson Walker ended the drought for the Spartans with a long 2-pointer with 1:24 remaining.
After Iowa’s Ahron Ulis turned the ball over, Akins hit a shot from the left side. Connor McCaffery got those points back with 35 seconds left on a jumper.
The Spartans’ A.J. Hoggard missed the front end of a one-and-one. Payton Sandfort then had two 3-point attempts to give Iowa the win but misfired on both.
Joey Hauser and Malik Hall had 11 points apiece, Mady Sissoko contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds and Walker also scored 10 points for the Spartans (14-7, 6-4 Big Ten).
Ulis led Iowa (12-8, 4-5) with a career-high 17 points. Filip Rebraca supplied 16 points and 11 rebounds and Kris Murray tossed in 11 points with eight rebounds.
The Spartans missed their first nine field goal attempts as Iowa jumped to a 10-0 lead. Walker ended the drought with a 3-pointer.
The Hawkeyes’ lead was down to 19-17 with nine minutes left in the half after Sissoko dunked.
An 8-0 spurt soon gave Michigan State a 26-23 advantage. Hall had a layup and a dunk during that span.
Ulis ended the run with a layup and neither team led by more than a point the rest of the half. The Spartans led 30-29 at the break as Hall and Akins had seven points apiece.
Murray opened the second half with a putback. The lead for either side was three points or fewer until a Ulis layup gave Iowa a 40-36 advantage.
Sissoko tied the game at 45-all with another dunk. The Spartans took a one-point lead midway through the half when Hauser knocked down a corner 3-pointer. He drained another 3-pointer, this from the top of the key, to make it 51-49.
Hoggard hit a 3-pointer after Hall’s offensive rebound but Ulis answered with a jumper to give the Hawkeyes a 57-56 lead. Walker’s second trey of the night put the Spartans briefly back in front with five minutes to go.
–Field Level Media