Another furious comeback. Another season-saving with for the Iowa Hawkeyes (18-11, 10-8) in a rousing 112-106 victory over the Michigan State Spartans (17-11, 9-8) which featured a 13-point comeback inside of 2 minutes.
Kris Murray led the Hawks with 26 points on 8/19 shooting and 8/11 from the line. Tony Perkins was huge with 4/5 shooting from deep and two second-chance baskets which extended the lead for Iowa in overtime. Payton Sandfort regained his shot with 22 points and 6/10 shooting from deep, including the game-tying basket which sent the game to overtime.
Throughout the bulk of the game, it felt like too little, too late for the Hawkeyes as Michigan State’s shooting was downright insane. They finished the game going 59% from the field, 73% from 3, and 86% from the line but turnovers early kept Iowa’s offense afloat, and timely misses from the charity stripe allowed the Hawks to climb the mountain.
It’s incredible to think that the mountain included a pair of technical free throws with 2:03 late in a weird sequence where the Kevin Brown and Robbie Hummel struggled to decide whether Fran McCaffery or Ahron Ulis got clocked with the T. (It was Fran)
From there, Iowa scored on their final NINE possessions including four straight three pointers in the final 32 seconds of regulation. The final one:
PAYTON SANDFORT FORCES OT!— Heat Check CBB (@HeatCheckCBB) February 25, 2023
Iowa scores 23 points over the final 90 seconds to send it into overtime tied at 101. pic.twitter.com/iTlli2UfA3
What the replay doesn’t show is AJ Hoggard missing his first free throw in 12 attempts, which afforded Iowa a liveball situation where MSU could not set their defense - including if and when to foul - via substitution or timeout.
In overtime, Kris Murray won what felt like the first jumpball of the Big Ten season and Iowa was able to pick up where they left off with Murray sinking two foul shots. Jaden Akins tied it back up before Connor McCaffery sank his first free throw of the game after missing like five, including three where he drew lane violations.
On the ensuing MSU possession, they missed their first missed three of the second half and Murray extended the lead with a layup. Perkins & Murray ramped up the D on the next possession and got a fast break opportunity where Tony notched the first of two second-chance baskets to keep the Iowa’s lead afloat at five.
Now here’s where I shoehorn in the recap of the first 39 minutes of gametime... Iowa’s offense early flowed through Filip Rebrača early as he made his first five shots and assisted on four more in the half. The Hawks also began sinking threes, with Connor McCaffery breaking the seal before Sandfort, Perkins, and Ulis combining for five more.
The problem was Sparty was even more on fire from deep, going 6/8 from three in the first half. Iowa played a part in forcing nine Spartan turnovers but could only score 12 points off of them. MSU’s final three of the half tied it up at 42-42, good for the Spartans’ highest scoring first half of the season.
In the second half, there was no regression to the mean for Michigan State. They were able to get whatever they wanted as they tightened up offensively with just three turnovers. Tyson Walker was especially great, scoring 21 in the half on 7/8 shooting. He finished with 31 to lead all scorers.
Perkins was great throughout the half, making three straight threes at one point that were matched immediately by MSU buckets. It was a game which never felt out of reach before it was. And then it wasn’t despite the Spartan lead peaking at 13 with 2:06 before the Hawkeyes’ frantic comeback.