It’s Senior Night, but sophomore guard Denzel Valentine is doing everything he can to put himself in the spotlight.
Despite his 10 points, seven assists and five rebounds, No. 22 MSU is trailing No. 24 Iowa, 41-39, at the half. Sophomore guard Gary Harris also has 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting.
Iowa’s Roy Devyn Marble is controlling the game for Iowa, scoring a game-high 16 points in the first half. Josh Oglesby has chipped in eight points for the Hawkeyes.
Both teams showed why they were considered Big Ten frontrunners earlier in the season, starting the game off shooting a combined 10-for-13 from the field.
However, both teams showed their recent downside, as both teams combined for eight turnovers in the first five minutes of action. After a 17-turnover game against Illinois, MSU has committed nine in tonight’s first half.
It’s been neck-and-neck the whole 20 minutes, but Iowa was the squad with the shooter’s touch early on. From the 18:33 mark to 13:34 , Iowa made six straight field goal attempts to keep the game tied at 16.
MSU made their first move for a sizable lead with less than nine minutes left on the clock. Harris made a jump shot to help MSU take a 23-21 lead. Junior guard Travis Trice then stole the ball before the Hawkeyes could cross half court, and he dished it to Valentine for a wide-open 3-pointer.
Iowa closed the gap but MSU took a 33-27 lead, its largest of the game, with 4:20 left in the half. Iowa erased that lead in 13 seconds, going on a 7-0 run capped off with a steal for Oglesby that turned into a foul in transition. He sank both his free throws to bring Iowa to a 34-33 lead.
Valentine scored his 10th point on the next possession, but a 3-pointer by Mike Gesell gave Iowa a 39-37 lead.
It’s been a battle on the boards this game, as both teams are tied with 15.