• No. 7 Michigan State beats No. 15 Iowa 71-69 in OT
    the associated press | January 29,2014
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    IOWA CITY, Iowa — Keith Appling scored 16 points and No. 7 Michigan State outlasted No. 15 Iowa 71-69 in overtime Tuesday night, handing the Hawkeyes their first home loss of the season.

    Matt Costello had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Spartans (19-2, 8-1 Big Ten), who avoided consecutive defeats despite missing injured starters Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson.

    Costello’s tip-in with 1:14 left gave Michigan State a 67-64 lead, and Russell Byrd’s 3 with 34 seconds put Michigan State up by six.

    Iowa still had a chance to force a second overtime, but Mike Gesell missed a driving layup at the buzzer.

    Devyn Marble had 21 points for Iowa (16-5, 5-3), which went without a field goal for the final 10 minutes of regulation and until the final seconds of the 5-minute overtime.

    The Hawkeyes boast one of the nation’s deepest benches, and they kept threatening to run away from the undermanned Spartans early in the second half. Michigan State wouldn’t let it happen.

    The tough-minded Spartans had an answer for nearly every basket that could have swung the momentum back in Iowa’s favor.

    Denzel Valentine finished with 12 points, including a crucial quick layup when the Hawkeyes seemed set for a transition basket. Travis Trice then followed with 3 to give Michigan State a 51-50 lead.

    Iowa later went ahead by six points, but Appling — with his right shooting wrist heavily taped — hit a 3, and a layup and dunk by Costello made it 58-57 Spartans with 4:06 left.

    The Hawkeyes had a chance to win in regulation, but Marble missed a runner just before the buzzer.

    That was a theme that doomed the Hawkeyes, who didn’t hit a field goal from the 9:56 mark of the second half until Marble’s layup with 6 seconds left in OT.

    Aaron White had 10 points for the Hawkeyes, who lost despite hitting 19 more free throws than Michigan State.

    It was a tough loss for Iowa considering that it had been nearly a decade since Iowa City had seen a game this big.

    Iowa hadn’t hosted a Top 25 opponent as a ranked team since 2006, when it last went to the NCAA tournament. Even Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad made the 2-hour drive from Des Moines to see the program’s biggest home game in years.

    The Hawkeyes looked like the tighter team early.

    Iowa hit just three shots in nearly 16 minutes, and yet hung within 19-18 thanks to a 12-1 disparity in field goals. The Hawkeyes eventually started hitting some baskets though, including a runner by Marble to go up 30-26.

    The second half and overtime proved to be a physical, back-and-forth affair between two teams with serious aspirations of a Big Ten title.

    In the end, it was the Spartans who pulled out a game featuring 16 lead changes and 11 ties and stayed within shouting distance of league-leading Michigan.



    WOMEN’S

    BASKETBALL

    UConn wins 28th straight

    PHILADELPHIA — When Breanna Stewart finds her groove, it’s tough to stop UConn’s top star.

    Just ask Temple.

    Stewart scored a career-high 37 points, Bria Hartley had 16 points and 11 assists, and No. 1 Connecticut beat Temple 93-56 on Tuesday night for its 28th straight win.

    The Huskies (22-0, 9-0 American Athletic Conference) shook off a rare early challenge to turn yet another game into a romp. Stewart made 10 of 11 shots in the first half and scored 25 points to thwart any hope the Owls had for the upset.

    “She’s in that frame of mind right now where every time she touches the ball, every time it leaves her hand, I’m surprised it doesn’t go in,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said.

    Stewart made 15 of 19 shots overall and 3 of 5 3-pointers. She did it all in 30 minutes, leaving plenty of time to rest and think about what’s ahead.

    “I want to be the best player in the country,” she said. “I want to obviously win a national championship, and I think the goal is winning a national championship every year, not just one. I’m going to be here for four years.”

    UConn center Stefanie Dolson had 11 points and 13 rebounds when she limped off the court with 8 minutes left.

    She had her right foot taped and did not return. Auriemma said Dolson was fine and would have returned, if needed.

    For about 10 minutes, there was a hint of a surprise at refurbished McGonigle Hall, the home floor for some of Hall of Fame coach John Chaney’s greatest teams.

    The Owls turned a 22-15 hole into a 23-22 lead with 7:55 left in the first half. Taylor Robinson put Temple in front with an inside bucket that put the crowd on its feet.

    Not for long.

    Stewart put UConn back on top with a layup that sparked a 20-5 run. Stewart really got on a roll during the decisive stretch, scoring an easy bucket off Hartley’s steal, a layup, and a 3-pointer for a 47-31 lead.

    “Any time you have a great player like that, you have a chance to have a great team,” Auriemma said. “But we’ve got a lot to work on still.”

    Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, who scored 18 points, hit a basket at the halftime buzzer that lifted the Huskies to a 49-32 lead. The Huskies missed 8 of 10 3-pointers and still shot 61 percent from the floor (18 of 23 inside the arc). Hartley, who had scored at least 30 points in each of her last three games, had nine points in the half.

    Rateska Brown led the Owls (10-10, 4-5) with 13 points.

    Temple coach Tonya Cardoza and Auriemma chatted for several minutes before the game, with six photographers snapping away at their conversation. Cardoza spent 14 seasons as an assistant at Connecticut, so she knew the challenges her team would face against the perfect Huskies.

    “It’s like a boxing match. We hung in there for about three rounds,” Cardoza said. “Once they punched us right at the end of the half, it was too much to come back from.”

    The Owls did improve from their first game this season against UConn. They needed only a couple of baskets at the start of the second half to top their total from the first meeting, the Huskies’ 80-36 win on Jan. 11.

    Auriemma is 3-0 against Cardoza.

    “I’m not going to say he’s like a father figure because he’d be mad at that because he’s not that old,” Cardoza said. “He’s the reason why I’m here. We’ll be best of friends for a lifetime.”

    The 28-game winning streak would make national news at any other women’s program. It’s just another ho-hum hot streak at UConn — the seventh-longest winning streak in team history was only the seventh item on the school’s game notes.
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