MSU scoots by Iowa 62-54 in a 59-possession game. StatSheet box score.
The reflexive thing to say after you’ve beat a vastly inferior team by just 8 points at home is to say the team “lost focus” or “didn’t keep their foot on the pedal.” I’m going to resist that temptation and say MSU did exactly what it needed to do:
- Dominated the glass.
- Won the turnover battle.
- Forced Iowa to take tough shots late in the shot clock.
The only glitch was that Iowa made a bunch of those tough shots–led by Jake Kelly, who scored 20 points on 13 FG attempts by converting a series of very difficult jumpshots–to keep themselves within single digits. To me, this outcome is still preferable to winning by a larger margin because your opponent missed a lot of open looks you allowed them to get free for. Iowa recorded an assist on only 7 of 18 made FG attempts–a sign that their points were the result of good individual plays, rather than defensive breakdowns by MSU.
Your bar graph:
- Delvon Roe continues to be more and more of a factor offensively. 16 points on 6-7 FG shooting tonight. Over the last 7 games, Roe is averaging 8.0 points and 6.1 rebounds in 23.4 minutes per game. Those are nice numbers for the second low-post player on a Tom Izzo team.
- 12 points on 4-7 three-point shooting for Korie Lucious. He needs to shoot more, as he seems just as good (if not better) when he’s not completely set.
- Quiet game for Kalin Lucas: 4 points, 6 assists, and 3 turnovers. He only took 6 shots, though, as MSU was generally able to create good looks at the basket early in the shot clock.
- Raymar Morgan still looks a ways off from being back near his peak playing level: 2-7 FG shooting and 5 personal fouls. (Somehow I missed him fouling out.) His jumpshot is out of whack.
- Travis Walton should not handle the ball late in close games.
- Nice game for Draymond Green: 4 points and 5 rebounds in 15 minutes.
- Another game in which Chris Allen turns the ball over too much (3) and shows glimpses of his jumpshot returning (8 points on 2-6 three-point shooting).
- Goran Suton (9 points on 7-8 FT shooting) has exellent touch on free throws that hit the rim.
The main concern coming out of this game is whether Durrell Summers did anything serious to his ankle. On the plus side, he came back and played about 4 minutes late in the first half and didn’t look perplexed on the bench. On the negative side, he didn’t play at all in the second half. Hopefully, that was just the training/coaching staff being extra cautious.
Onward and forward.
Next up: A road game of the cringe-inducing variety in Champaign on Sunday (4:00, CBS).