During the television broadcast of the game on Tuesday, ESPN’s Mike Tirico mentioned that Russell Byrd, “used to be a good shooter.”
Byrd proved that he has still got the magic when he hit a three-pointer in overtime to seal a 71-69 victory for the Spartans.
Iowa led for the majority of the game, but Michigan State was able to rely on solid defense and contributions from Denzel Valentine, Keith Appling and Matt Costello to tally a win in overtime against the No. 15 Hawkeyes.
Costello had his first career double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, both career highs. Despite an injured wrist, Appling led the Spartans with 16 points and Valentine scored 12 points and collected six rebounds.
MSU came out strong, jumping out to a 10-3 lead early in the game, but fouls by Michigan State helped Iowa score most of their points in the first half. Iowa led 30-26 at halftime.
Iowa seemed to be in control for most of the second half, but was never able to extend its lead past six. The Spartans grabbed the lead for the first time in the second half at the 8:38 mark. Iowa only made two field goals in the final 10 minutes of the second half and five minutes of overtime.
Despite this drought, Iowa made 14-18 from the free throw line to keep the game close.
Byrd hit the shot of the night in overtime to put the Spartans up by six points with 33 seconds to play. Gary Harris had a bad foul on Iowa’s Roy Devyn Marble when he drove to the basket which ended in a three-point play to make it 71-69 and keep Iowa’s hopes alive.
Appling missed two free throws with four seconds left, but Iowa was unable to convert on a layup opportunity as time expired and the Spartans squeaked out a victory in Iowa City, Iowa.
Michigan State held Iowa to just 37 percent shooting, but the Hawkeyes spent much of their time in the bonus as MSU committed a total of 29 fouls.
The Spartans’ two leading rebounders, Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne, missed the game, but the Spartans held their own on the boards, tying Iowa 38-38 on the glass.
The Spartans take a break from the Big Ten grind to play Georgetown (11-9) Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Andrew Hayes is the host of Impact Izzone for Impact Sports.
Photo: David Defever/Impact Sports