IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Cassius Winston scored 23 points, Nick Ward had 21 points with 10 rebounds and sixth-ranked Michigan State blew past No. 19 Iowa 82-67 on Thursday night, extending its winning streak to 13 games.
Matt McQuaid added three second-half 3-pointers for the Spartans (18-2, 9-0 Big Ten), who used a 24-2 run just after halftime to secure a school-record 21st consecutive league victory.
Tyler Cook scored 11 points in the first four minutes of the second half to give Iowa a 50-42 lead. But he was soon matched by the unflappable Winston, who hit three 3s in a row to help the Spartans retake the lead, 53-50.
Ward’s three-point play pushed the run to 14-0 and put Michigan State ahead 56-50. McQuaid’s 3 and three more points from Winston, this time at the foul line, gave the Spartans a 66-52 edge.
Luka Garza scored 20 points and Tyler Cook had 17 for Iowa (16-4, 5-4), which won its previous five games. The Hawkeyes entered leading the nation in free throw attempts and makes, but they hit just eight.
Michigan State went 20 of 21 from the line.
Michigan State: This is how teams win conference titles in tough leagues. The Spartans were on the road in a very hostile gym playing a team they embarrassed 90-68 in East Lansing on Dec. 3, and they still found a way to pull it out. It was quite the unintentional foreshadowing that Iowa was playing Ariana Grande’s “Thank U, Next” when Michigan State came out for layup drills, because that’s exactly how it went down in the second half.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes blew a golden opportunity to knock off one of the best teams in America. But Michigan State is one of the best teams in America in part because of its resilience, and the Spartans showed plenty of that with their second-half rally. The Hawkeyes now know exactly how they would match up with a Final Four contender, and they didn’t get the answer they were hoping for.
Michigan State plays at Purdue on Sunday, its fourth road game out of five.
Iowa plays at Minnesota on Sunday.