Ager stars as No. 11 Michigan State cruises
East Lansing, MI (Sports Network) – Maurice Ager scored 25 points, including
5-of-8 from long distance, as the 11th-ranked Michigan State Spartans blew out
the 23rd-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes, 85-55, at the Breslin Center.
Paul Davis had 19 points and 12 boards and Shannon Brown contributed 17
points, highlighted by two three-point plays in the second half, for the
Spartans (15-4, 3-2 Big Ten), who have won three straight games.
“Shannon (Brown) was very unselfish today and Maurice (Ager) came to me at
halftime and said, ‘I made some good shots in the first half and in the second
half I’m going to go out there and put them down.’ That to me is a great
feeling knowing that the relationship between the coaches and the players is
that confident,” said Michigan State coach Tom Izzo.
Adam Haluska contributed 19 points and Greg Brunner tallied 17 points and 11
rebounds for the Hawkeyes (14-5, 3-2), who had a three-game winning streak
Brunner’s jumper as the clock was running down capped a 9-4 run to close the
half as Michigan State led 37-28. Brunner’s 11 points and eight rebounds after
20 minutes of play led all players, but Iowa’s offense struggled as Haluska
was the only other Hawkeyes’ player with more than three points.
The Spartans began the final frame with a 25-7 run, highlighted by nine
points from Ager and seven from Davis, to extend the lead to 62-35 at the
Michigan State led 73-43 on Ager’s three-pointer with 7:21 to play. Iowa got
no closer than the halftime score as the Hawkeyes committed 13 second half
turnovers leading to 17 Michigan State points.
The Spartans ran out to a 14-6 lead as both teams came out shooting cold. The
Hawkeyes hit three of their first 15 shots, including 0-for-4 from beyond the
arc, while Michigan State shot 5-of-11 in the opening seven minutes of the
Ager had 10 points in the first half and his trey with 10:36 remaining gave
the Spartans a 22-11 edge.
Michigan State is the only team in nation to open conference play against five
ranked teams…This is Iowa’s worst loss ever to Michigan State. The Hawkeyes
lost 82-54 in March of 2003 at the Breslin Center …The Spartans have won 13
of the last 16 games and 11 in a row at the Breslin Center…Ager, Davis and
Brown are the only trio in the nation which average more than 17 points a
game…Michigan State has won 17 of the last 22 meetings.