| Lansing State Journal
Aaron Henry’s turnaround jumper with 7:20 left in Tuesday night’s game against Iowa trimmed the Hawkeye lead to 69-68. But eighth-ranked Iowa flexed its muscles over the next three minutes, using a 10-2 run to grab a 79-70 lead heading into the 4-minute TV timeout thanks to two low-post buckets from All-American Luka Garza to cap off the run.
It seemed like that was the game’s decisive moment, but the Spartans showed fight and fought back. MSU used a 6-0 run – four points from Joey Hauser and two from Henry – to chip away at the deficit and then cut Iowa’s lead to 80-78 with 1:21 to go on a Thomas Kithier layup.
The game wasn’t truly over until Iowa’s Jordan Bohannon hit two free throws with 15 seconds left to give the Hawkeyes an 82-78 lead and Rocket Watts air-balled a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession.
The Spartans went on to lose, 84-78.
As Tom Izzo tinkers to find his best lineup, he reinserted junior point guard Foster Loyer into the starting five.
Loyer was 1 of 4 from the field – making a 3-pointer – and added two assists and a rebound in the first half. But Loyer played with confidence and swagger that we haven’t seen in quite some time. And that went for most of the Spartans as well, especially in the first half when they hit their first six 3-point attempts.
Another point for Loyer’s importance: MSU was minus-11 without Loyer in the final six-plus minutes of the first half after he picked up his second foul and went to the bench. Iowa took a five-point lead into the halftime break.
Loyer finished with five points, three assists and two rebounds in 18 minutes.
Michigan State (8-7, 2-7 Big Ten) will play its first home game in nearly a month as it’s scheduled to host Nebraska (4-8, 0-5) for a 6:30 p.m. start on Saturday. This would be the Cornhuskers’ first game since Jan. 10, an 84-76 home loss to Indiana. The two teams met back on Jan. 2, an 84-77 MSU win. The Spartans lead the all-time series, 18-9, and have won six in a row.
Email digital sports reporter Phil Friend at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Phil_Friend.