Iowa Holds Off Michigan State To Advance to Championship Game
March 11, 2006
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Jeff Horner scored 14 points and Greg Brunner added 12 as No. 20 Iowa defeated Michigan State 53-48 Saturday in the Big Ten tournament semifinals.
Maurice Ager led Michigan State with 21 points. He was the only Michigan State player to make a field goal in the final 8 minutes.
Second-seeded Iowa (24-8) advanced to play the winner of the Indiana-Ohio State game in Sunday's final. It will be the Hawkeyes' first finals appearance since 2002.
Michigan State (22-11) set season lows for points and field-goal percentage (28.3 percent). Shannon Brown, the Spartans' second-leading scorer this season, shot 3-for-16 and was held to eight points, 10 below his average.
Ager shot 8-for-18, but the rest of the team shot 7-for-35. He made five 3-pointers, one short of the tournament single-game record. He made two 3-pointers in the final minute of play, but the Hawkeyes made 7-of-8 free throws in the final 2 minutes.
Iowa shot 37 percent, but outscored Michigan State 21-11 from the free-throw line.
Ager made two 3-pointers in an 8-0 run to start the game. Iowa didn't make a field goal until 14:25 remained in the first half.
Brunner scored two buckets at the end of an 11-0 run that tied the score at 15 and forced Michigan State to call timeout.
Ager's third 3-pointer of the first half helped the Spartans take a 25-22 halftime lead.