, Mississippi (PressExposure) February 25, 2009 -- Michigan State beat out the Iowa Hawkeyes 62-54 despite the fact that they outscored Michigan in the second half. The contest took place at Brelsin Center on Feb 25th. "This is an incredible environment," UI head coach Todd Lickliter said. "I really like the idea that they have the bleachers pulled-out, they've lowered them so everybody above can see and they just have students surrounding it and they are involved. It is not intimidating as much for the opponent as it is just unbelievable support." Iowa had two players score in double digits. Jake Kelly led with 20 points and five rebounds. He also recorded four steals. Aaron Fuller sank 10 and Matt Gatens added nine. "He (Kelly) has really done a nice job," Lickliter said. "In the first half they really got after him, we couldn't generate offense; we couldn't find people to help him. With that said, in the second half he had one turnover. You think about it, if you have never played a position and it is one that you have the ball in your hands all the time and then you go and play Purdue, Michigan and Michigan State, good luck. I'm really proud of him (of taking over for injured Jeff Peterson at point guard)." Iowa shot 55 percent from the field in the second half, netted 18 of 40 from the field and 6 of 21 behind the arc. From the foul line they scored 92 percent with 12 of 13 shots. The Hawkeyes were no match for the Spartans however. Michigan State out-rebounded Iowa 33-19. Statistically, The Spartans landed 21 of 37 field goals, 6 of 18 three pointers and 14 of 20 free throws. "They are a good team," Kelly said. "They have a lot of athletic bodies they can throw in there. They try to deny me the ball, pressure me the whole game, and try to wear me out. My teammates did a really good job of screening for me and getting me some open looks. In the end they got the best of us, but we fought hard." Michigan State held a 10 point lead for most of the first half, Devon Roe scoring 16 points and Korie Lucious getting in 12 off the bench. Michigan State built an 11 point separation with a 14-2 run that ended with an 22-11 score. The game was a scoring battle. With 8:30 left in the game, Kelly cut the gap to 48-42 but was unable to gain a lead, when Goran Sutton and Roe combined to make 6 consecutive shots from the stripe, bringing the lead back to Michigan at 54-43 with under 6 minutes left to go. "We didn't play well enough to win and we're not going to accept it," Lickliter said. "I think we are a better team having played this team." "We're holding up fine," Kelly said. "We're just looking forward to the next game. We know we fought hard and aren't going to hang our heads on this one. We just have to move on to Northwestern."
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Press Release Submitted On: April 06, 2009 at 4:57 pm
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