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Hawks can’t handle big Green machine

March 10, 2012
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS (sports@timesrepublican.com) , Times-Republican

INDIANAPOLIS - Iowa came on strong at the end of the season.

Now, the Hawkeyes must wait to see if their surge was good enough to draw a postseason bid.

Draymond Green had 21 points and 10 rebounds to lead No. 8 Michigan State over Iowa 92-75 in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals on Friday.

Josh Oglesby scored 20 points for Iowa (17-16). Zach McCabe and Roy Devyn Marble added 13 points each for the Hawkeyes, who entered Friday's game having won four of six games, including high-profile wins against Indiana and Wisconsin.

The Hawkeyes think they've earned the right to continue their season.

"I think it would be great for the program to get an NIT bid and continue playing and fight for something," senior guard Matt Gatens said. "The young guys need it. Practices and more games is great for the program. We'll find out."

Adreian Payne added a career-high 16 points, Keith Appling had 12 points and six assists, and Brandon Wood had 10 points for the top-seeded Spartans (25-7), who shot 58 percent.

Michigan State played its first game without forward Branden Dawson, a freshman who tore a left knee ligament in the regular-season finale against Ohio State.

The Spartans didn't need him against the Hawkeyes, who have the Big Ten's worst defense. Michigan State defeated Iowa 95-61 on Jan. 10, and this one wasn't much different.

A reverse layup by Derrick Nix, then a putback by Green on Nix's missed free throw put Michigan State up 26-22 midway through the first half. A 3-pointer by Payne pushed the lead to 31-22 and forced Iowa to call timeout.

The Spartans made 21 of 30 shots in the first half and 6 of 11 from 3-point range to take a 55-39 lead. Three Spartans scored in double figures in the first half, with Payne's 12 points leading the way. Payne came in averaging just under seven points.

Iowa made 12 of 26 shots overall and 5 of 11 from long range in the first half, a respectable showing that normally would keep a team competitive. But Michigan State left Iowa with little margin for error. The Spartans committed only four first-half turnovers and had 10 second-chance points on five offensive rebounds. Iowa didn't grab its first offensive rebound until 2:39 remained in the first half.

The Spartans led by as many as 28 points in the second half.

 
 

 

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