Just like eight days ago, life prevented me from watching Iowa play Michigan State. Although, this time I was actually able to listen to the first half on the radio. But, what follows is, once again, what I noticed from looking over the box score. It's weird to think that last year, I missed Iowa play Michigan in the Big 10 Tournament, because I was in a European Politics class. This year I missed it, because I had to work. Life needs to stop interfering with my sports.
- Neither team shot particularly well in this game. Iowa was just slightly worse, putting up a 42.9% effective FG%, making 38.2% of their two point shots and 44.4% of their three point shots. Iowa was solid from the free throw line, knocking down 76.5% from there. Michigan State finished the game with a 44.4% effective FG%, connecting on 45% of their two point attempts and 28.6% of their three point attempts. Michigan State was also good from the line, as they hit 78.3% of their free ones. Overall, both teams made 22 baskets. It ended up coming down to Iowa missing 34 shots, while Michigan State missed 32.
- I've mentioned many times, that Iowa has been a terrible defensive rebounding team since Big 10 play started. Well, that was on a full display against Michigan State. Iowa allowed Michigan State to pull down 16 offensive rebounds. That was good for 47.1% of their misses, which left Iowa with a meager 52.9% defensive rebounding rate. Iowa, as usual, was pretty good on the offensive boards themselves, grabbing 36.1% of their own misses, and leaving 63.9% for Michigan State. The unusual part, was that they did this with Basabe on the bench. Archie, Cartwright, and McCabe grabbed 3 offensive boards a piece. While, Cole even kicked in 2 for good measure. However, because they didn't want to box out on defense, they still lost the rebounding battle 44.3% to 55.7%.
- Iowa won the turnover battle, only giving it up on 20.3% of their possessions. Put that with an assist rate of 17.2%, and you get an assist to turnover ratio of 0.85. Michigan State coughed up the ball on 23.4% of their possessions, while ending 18.8% of their possessions with an assisted field goal. Those two together, were good for an assist to turnover ratio of 0.80. We won something!
- Cartwright had himself a game. Well, a first half anyway. He finished the game with 14 points on 5-15 shooting (36.6% eFG%) and 3-3 from the free throw line (0.85 points per scoring attempt). He also had 7 rebounds (3 offensive and 4 defensive), 6 assists, and only 3 turnovers. The problem, was that 10 of those points, 4 of those assists, and 3 of those rebounds came in the first half. In the second half, he scored 4 points on 1-7 shooting and 2-2 from the free throw line. Cartwright went cold. He went very very cold.
- Basabe was key in this game. But, not for the good reasons, that Iowa wanted. Instead, he was largely invisible from this game, playing only14 minutes. He picked up his second foul at the 16:35 mark, and was yanked for the rest of the first half by coach McCaffery (standard protocol for Fran). In his 14 minutes, he put up 6 points (0.43 points per minute, which is basically his season average) on 3-5 shooting (60% eFG%, also around season average). He didn't have any offensive rebounds, but had 2 defensive rebounds (16.8%, once again, around his season average). He did have turnover problems, giving the ball up 3 times (you guessed it, turnovers are pretty normal for him too). Essentially, Basabe was having a pretty normal game. However, his fouls kept him from making a bigger impact on the game. That really sucks, considering, it was the last game of the year. It's hard not to think how this game could have been different if Basabe wasn't in foul trouble.
- Gatens had a pretty good day, putting up 13 points on 5-10 shooting (55% eFG%) and 2-2 from the free throw line (1.19 points per scoring attempt). However, he had a bad second half like Cartwright did. Unlike Cartwright, though, Gatens didn't miss everything he took. Gatens just stopped shooting. Let me put it this way. In the second half Gatens had 3 fouls, made 2 free throws, took 2 field goal attempts, and made 1 field goal. So, Gatens didn't go cold. He just went to sleep.
- In what was to be his last game in a Hawkeye uniform, Jarryd Cole had a pretty decent night. It wasn't as good as what he did against Purdue, but it was still pretty solid. He scored 8 points, on a not very efficient 2-6 shooting (33.3% eFG%) and 4-7 from the line (0.86 points per scoring attempt). He had a solid game rebounding the ball, coming away with 2 offensive boards (6.1% offensive rebound rate) and 4 defensive boards (13% defensive rebound rate). Once again, thank you Jarryd, and good luck in the post-Hawkeye portion of your life.
- From the box score, it looks as if May had a decent game. He's still not putting the ball in the basket as much as Iowa fans know he is capable of, but he still had 7 points, 3 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists, and only 1 turnover. Let's hope May finds himself over the offseason.
- I also see from the play-by-play, that Eric May had a dunk where he was also fouled by Draymond Green. I might have to look for that on the DVR.
- Draymond Green finally did what I was expecting him to do the first two times he played Iowa. I wish I had been wrong a third time.
- Iowa had the lead in this game with 11:40 left in the second half, up 52-45. From there it went downhill. In the next 3:19 (the 8:21 mark), Iowa went from up 7, to down 1. In that period of time, Michigan State made 4 free throws, 2 layups, and 1 jumper. Delvon Roe missed their only shot in that span. Iowa, on the other hand, got 1 jumper in the paint from Basabe. Other than that, Eric May missed a three pointer, Devyn Marble missed a jumper, and Jarryd Cole missed a jumper. Before Iowa knew it, they were down 54-55. I pray for the day when these shooting droughts are the exception for Iowa, instead of the rule.
- McCabe hit a three point shot with 1:35 left in the game, to cut Michigan State's lead to 1. Iowa got a defensive stop on the next Michigan State possession. McCabe then missed a three pointer next time. Iowa had to foul, and Michigan State made both free throws, putting their lead at 3. On Iowa's next possession, Gatens missed a three and McCabe missed the tip-in, which pretty much ended the game. I also pray for the day when losing close games are the exception, and not the rule.
- In the end, Iowa averaged .95 points per possession, while Michigan State averaged 1.03 points per possession. 0.95 < 1.03. That's why Iowa lost. Math!