The Breslin Center
East Lansing, MI
The #10 Michigan State Spartans with an injured Matt McQuaid on the bench and missing his third straight game, improved their record on the year to 7-2 (2-0) with a 90-68 win over the very talented #18 Iowa Hawkeyes.
The Spartans were led by BIG MAN Kenny Goins who had 19 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. He was simply amazing, impacting every part of the game.
Tom Izzo raved about Goins play saying, “I think you have to give a lot of credit to Kenny and you have to give a lot of credit to Dwayne Stephens. That was a hell of a performance.”
Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said of Kenny Goins, “I’ve always been impressed with him. A better indicator is what Tom thinks of him. He plays him, he trusts him. He defends and is a winner.”
Nick Ward added 26 points and nine rebounds while shooting 11 of 11. Joshua Langford put in 14 points, and five assists and Xavier Tillman had a career-high 14 points and eight rebounds and played by far the best game of his career. That is saying something considering he just did that the game before in New Jersey.
Tom Izzo said of the game, “I got to admit that was a shocking game for me. Both teams started sloppy and looked tired I thought. Then we got our break going a little bit and we got the ball inside and that made a big big difference.”
The Spartans shot 52% from the field including 25% from the three. The Spartans shot a much improved 78% from the free throw line and had 28 assists on 31 baskets.
Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said, “I thought we took some good shots, but they we took some bad shots. They typically run on your misses, they run on your makes too, but we got into foul trouble. We didn’t have the kind of possessions that we wanted. Live ball turnovers against this team are deadly. Everybody knows that.”
Izzo said “We did the things that we wanted to do. We had 28 baskets on 31 baskets and that is pretty incredible. Franny has a good team and they are a lot better than they played tonight, for whatever reason.”
The Spartans led the battle of the boards 44-37. More important the Spartans only had eight turnovers.
Izzo played 14 players including all five freshmen. Aaron Henry led the freshmen with five points.
Izzo added, “This has been a very difficult 11 days for us and we are going to get a much-needed break tomorrow. I am learning that we can prepare with a long grueling practice.”
The Spartans return to action against Florida in Gainesville on Saturday. After opening the Big Ten Conference play, the Spartans now head back out of it and won’t return until next year, January 2, 2019, when they host Northwestern. The tilt with the Gators tips off at noon and that game can be seen on CBS.
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