No. 4 Michigan State figured to be in an offensive shootout at Iowa on Tuesday, and that?s exactly what happened between the second- and third-highest-scoring offenses in the Big 10.
Points came early and often for both teams, but Michigan State had just a little bit more at the end in earning a 96-93 win over the Hawkeyes at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City, Iowa.
The Spartans (23-3, 11-2 Big Ten) trailed 81-73 with 8:09 remaining in the game but rallied to win their seventh straight game overall and fourth consecutive on the road.
Sophomore Miles Bridges scored 25 points, sophomore Nick Ward had 17 points and sophomore Josh Langford added 15 points to lead Michigan State, which shot 56.1 percent overall (32 of 57) and 47.1 percent (8 of 17) from 3-point range.
Sophomore Tyler Cook scored a game-high 26 points in defeat for the Hawkeyes (12-14, 3-10). Iowa shot 52.2 percent from the field overall (36 of 69) and 45 percent from 3-point range (9 of 20).
Michigan State went ahead 90-89 with 2:17 remaining on a 3-pointer by senior Kenny Goins, but Iowa regained the lead at 91-90 with 1:58 remaining on a basket by Cook.
Michigan State went back ahead 92-91 with 1:02 left on a pair of free throws by Bridges. Following a shot-clock violation on Iowa with just under 32 seconds remaining, Bridges was fouled on an inbounds play and hit two more free throws with 31 seconds left to give the Spartans a 94-91 lead.
Iowa closed within 94-93 with 18 seconds remaining on a basket by Cook, but Langford hit a pair of free throws with 6.3 seconds left to give Michigan State a 96-93 lead.
Bridges stole the ensuing inbounds and was fouled, but he missed two free throws with 3.6 seconds remaining to give Iowa one last chance to tie. A Hawkeye half-court shot at the buzzer hit the front of the rim and bounced off.