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March 10, 2011
Spartans stumble, scramble past Iowa (IZZO AUDIO)
INDIANAPOLIS - Draymond Green had 21 points and 14 rebounds to help Michigan State beat Iowa 66-61, Thursday in the first round of the Big Ten tournament and keep its NCAA tournament hopes alive.
Durrell Summers hit two free throws with :14 seconds left to put MSU up 64-61.
Iowa's Matt Gatens missed a 3-pointer that could have tied the game with 6 seconds remaining. Summers secured the defensive rebound and hit two more free throws to put it away.
Summers also hit a big 3-pointer from the corner to give MSU at 62-58 lead with 4:13 left.
"It wasn't a pretty game, there is no question about that," said Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo. "But as I told my guys, last year we played New Mexico State in the first game (of the NCAA Tournament, winning narrowly), and as DayDay (Draymond Green) said, it's about survive and advance. That's the way it is."
Kalin Lucas scored 11 points and Keith Appling added 10 for Michigan State, which advanced to play No. 9 Purdue (25-6) in the quarterfinals.
"I thought at times we did some really good things and at times we just did some really not-so-good things but the bottom line is I thought I had some guys that didn't play as well early, Austin Thornton and Devlon Roe struggle," Izzo said.
"Durrell didn't get as many shots. But late, he really hit the big 3, and the two free throws. But maybe as important, he got two big rebounds late."
Michigan State (18-13) has played in the last two Final Fours and hasn't missed the NCAA tournament since the 1996-97 season, but the seventh-seeded Spartans felt they needed to beat 10th-seeded Iowa to boost their chances of continuing that streak.
Bryce Cartwright had 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Gatens had 13 points for Iowa (11-20), which was coming off a win over then-No. 6 Purdue.
"Draymond will probably tell you he was not as good in part of the first half, but he too sucked it up, and we went to him and Kalin is hurt (with a sprained ankle) and that created some problems there," Izzo said. "Austin Thornton bounced back and made some plays. And yet the two big guys in money time down the stretch were Durrell and DayDay and hopefully that will give us a shot in the arm."
Lucas, who spent the first three-quarters of the season slowly recovering from last year's Achilles tendon rupture, went down midway through the first half with a sprained ankle. He finished the game, but his mobility was limited.