IOWA CITY– I didn’t have a good feeling when the Hawkeye men traveled to East Lansing last Wednesday.
They haven’t won there since Matt Gatens was 5. Last year, the Spartans jumped out to a 20-1 lead and coasted to a 66-52 win.
Iowa did have one of the great upsets of the year when they beat Michigan State, 43-36, in Iowa City last season.
I was just hoping the Hawks wouldn’t lose by 20.
They didn’t, and the 62-54 loss was played hard from start to finish.
Every time Iowa would make a run, the Spartans would answer.
Michigan State is leading the Big Ten and ranked in the Top 10 because they are a complete team.
They have great guard play, solid post play and talk about an ‘in your face defense’…plus they played 11 players.
Iowa barely has 10 to practice with and sometimes has to use assistant coaches to get five on five.
Still the Hawkeyes hung in there, and Jake Kelly is the man.
Forty-five minutes in the win over Michigan and 40 in the loss to Michigan State.
He led the team with 20 points, five rebounds and four assists.
Jake took it inside, hit jump shots and mad some nice passes.
If Iowa can get Jeff Peterson back, they will finally have some depth at the point.
Aaron Fuller and Matt Gatens also played the full 40 minutes after both played 45 against the Wolverines.
It was good to see Cyrus Tate get 17 minutes on the floor, the most since he hurt his ankle six weeks ago. He didn’t miss, going 2-2 from the floor and 3-3 from the free throw line.
The big difference in the game was State won the rebounding battle, 33-19. Sixteen turnovers for Iowa didn’t help.
I actually had a little better feeling when the Hawks traveled to Evanston to play the Northwestern Wildcats last Saturday.
Iowa matched up well when they played the Cats in Iowa City on February 7. The Hawkeyes were 12-30 from 3-point-land and hit 16-18 from the free throw line in a 56-51 victory at Carver. Northwestern was 7-26 from behind the arc and made 8-10 from the charity stripe.
Saturday, Iowa was 7-25 from behind the line and only 4-8 from the free throw line.
Northwestern wasn’t much better, going 9-24 from 3-point range but they made 10-12 free throws and won 55-49.
Once again Jake Kelly played all 40 minutes, led the team with 23 points, five rebounds, three assists and turned the ball over only two times.
That is just an amazing streak he’s got going–playing in every minute of three straight games… all with a broken middle finger in his right (shooting) hand.
Jermain Davis was back and played 12 minutes scoring 2 points with three rebounds and two assists.
Cyrus Tate played 27 minutes with five boards but fouled out on a really weak foul called with only 14 seconds left and Iowa trailing 54-49.
Eleven straight road losses is not much fun… hurry back Jeff Peterson, time is running out.