Whatever magic Iowa enjoyed in a comeback win at home against Iowa State on Wednesday didn’t travel to the Breslin Events Center in East Lansing, Mich.
Down 16 points at halftime, the Hawkeyes rallied, but fell short and lost their first game, 86-82, Saturday to Michigan State.
“We made better decisions defensively at home against Iowa State than we did tonight,” Iowa Coach Lisa Bluder said.
Michigan State (4-0, 2-0 Big Ten) went bombs away from the start, building a 12-2 lead on four 3-pointers — two from Alyza Wisnton and two from Julia Ayrault.
“We knew they had 3-point shooters,” Bluder said. “They did a better job in transition, and our transition defense was not good. They had some open looks.”
Winston finished 6 of 12 from the arc and had a team-best 25 points. Nia Clouden had 21 points and Ayrault 19 points.
Freshman Caitlin Clark continued to impress with 35 points and seven rebounds for Iowa (4-1, 1-1). Monika Czinano scored 24 points and McKenna Warnock had nine points, 12 rebounds and six assists.
ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADVERTISEMENT
Iowa cut the lead to five, 70-65, with 5:42 to play when Czinano completed a 3-point play. The Hawkeyes cut it to two points, 84-82 with nine seconds left on a pair of Warnock free throws, but couldn’t get closer. MSU made 7 of 8 free throws in the final 1:23.
“On the road, it is tough to battle back,” Bluder said. “I was proud of our effort, it was just too little, too late.”
Iowa has finals this week before another tough Big Ten road test at No. 18 Ohio State next Saturday.