Injured Spartans Take on Hawkeyes

The No. 7 Michigan State Spartans (18-2, 7-1) are on the road once again headed to Iowa City, Iowa, to take on the No. 15 Iowa Hawkeyes (16-4, 5-2) at the Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Michigan State comes into this game after suffering a tough loss to Michigan, yet still being undefeated on the road.

In the Spartans last game against the No. 10 Michigan Wolverines, they fell short, 80-75.

The top performer in the game was sophomore Gary Harris. Harris had 27 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists. Harris is currently averaging 18.8 points per game, making him the No. 1 offensive leader in the Big Ten.

Michigan State as a team shot 46 percent in field goal attempts, 41 percent from behind the arc and 70 percent from the free throw line against Michigan.

Michigan State as a whole is averaging 79.7 points per game.

The Spartans also have two of the top five rebounders in the Big Ten. Branden Dawson (8.7) is second overall while Adreian Payne (7.7) is fourth in the Big Ten.

Keith Appling is third in the conference in overall assists averaging 4.9 per game and had 10 assists against Michigan. The Spartans as a whole are ranked fourth in the country in assists and first in the Big Ten.

Senior leader Adriean Payne is still questionable, yet unlikely to play Tuesday night against Iowa. Dawson will also miss the game due to a broken hand. Appling tweaked his wrist, but is expected to play.

The Hawkeyes go into this game also suffering a recent loss to Michigan, but more recently beating Northwestern, 76-50.

In their last game, Iowa as a team shot 52 percent in field goal attempts, 42 percent from three point range and 75 percent from the line. The Hawkeyes also out rebounded Northwestern 44-20 and had nine different players score.

The Hawkeyes are currently ranked No. 3 in the nation for rebounds per game (44), No. 5 overall in points per game (85.3) and No. 11 in assists per game (16.9).

In their last game against Northwestern, the top Hawkeye performer was Gabriel Olaseni. Olaseni had 14 points off the bench and ten rebounds. Roy Devyn Marble also contributed 14 points and five rebounds.

Marble, a Michigan native, is averaging 16.1 points per game, 3.6 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

Iowa also has a deep bench and utilizes 12 of those players on the regular in Big Ten play.

It is important that the Spartans maintain a competitive mind set even without two of their key players, and that they lock down on defense. Iowa is one of the highest scoring teams in the conference and are strong rebounders. If Michigan State can keep Marble and White locked down they have a chance to pull off the win.

Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.

Hayleigh Geurink is a multimedia journalist for Impact Sports.

Photo: David Defever/Impact Sports