EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State’s late surge was the difference last night in a physical Big Ten victory over Iowa last night at the Breslin Center. 65-54.
“Their physical play wore us down,”said Iowa coach Lisa Bluder, who was looking for her 600th victory. “I thought it was a very physical basketball game, and it’s amazing that only 10 fouls are whistled against (Michigan State). We let it affect us. We started complaining about the officiating and we started getting frustrated that we weren’t getting calls instead of playing the next possession.”
Of 24 fouls in the game, three were technicals.
“A physical style of game favors Michigan State, but this is Big Ten basketball and we’re going to see a lot of physical games,” Bluder said.
The Hawkeyes, who got a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds from Morgan Johnson, slipped to 13-5 overall and 2-2 in the Big Ten. Michigan State, which ended a two-game losing streak in this series, is 15-2 and 3-1.
“Offensively, we just didn’t get it together,” Bluder said. “We had nine assists on 21 field goals and that is very unlike us.”
Spartan junior Klarissa Bell finished with a game-high 25 points, and three of those came on a half-court buzzer-beater to tie the game, 25-25, at the end of the first half.
But the Spartans needed a 14-3 run to close the final 3:30 to put the game out of reach.
“The first half I thought we defended well,” Bluder said. “Then we gave up 40 in the second half and too many paint points.”
Michigan State scored 30 points in the paint.