Iowa City, IA (SportsNetwork.com) - Keith Appling scored 16 points to help the No. 7 Michigan State Spartans fend off No. 15 Iowa with a 71-69 win at Carver Hawkeye Arena.
Appling had a chance to add to his stats and put the game away in the closing seconds of overtime, but he missed a pair of free throws to leave the door open for Iowa to either win or force a another extra session.
Mike Gessell drove the length of the court in 4.4 seconds, but his layup banked off the backboard and off the rim as Michigan State held on, ending Iowa's 20-game home winning streak and extending its win streak over the Hawkeyes to seven straight in the process.
"I feel like this win speaks volumes of the character of our team. We have a lot of guys that are able to dig down and compete. And at the end of the day I feel like that's what gave us the victory," Appling said.
Iowa was one win shy of tying the Carver Hawkeye Arena record which spanned three seasons. The current mark was set with the last win in 2004-05, winning all 17 games in 2005-06, and opening the 2006-07 season with three straight victories at home.
Denzel Valentine finished with 12 points for the Spartans (19-2, 8-1 Big Ten), while Matt Costello stepped up in the absence of forwards Branden Dawson and Adreian Payne, setting career highs with 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Roy Devyn Marble paced all scorers with 21 points and Aaron White finished with 10 points on 8-of-8 shooting from the free-throw line for Iowa (16-5, 5-3).
"I just didn't think we were tough enough. We weren't tough at all," Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said. "I think they were being nice."
Shooting was optional in this matchup as Iowa was held without a field goal in the final 9:56 of regulation and Michigan State was field goal-less for the final 4:06 of the second half.
The margin was six in favor of Iowa when Michigan State ran off seven straight, as Costello made buckets on successive possessions to help the Spartans grab a 58-57 lead with just over four minutes left in regulation.
Gessell tied the game at 60-60 by splitting a pair at the line, then Gary Harris and Gessell each made 1-of-2 free throws in the closing minute and the game headed to overtime tied at 61-apiece after two empty possessions from each team.
White opened the scoring for Iowa with a pair of free throws and Appling answered with a trey. Marble made 1-of-2 at the line to tie the game, but Iowa's poor shooting hurt them in crunch time.
Michigan State led 67-64 when Russell Byrd, who last made a 3-pointer on Dec. 17 against North Florida, buried a corner 3 with 33 seconds left in overtime to increase the cushion.
Marble ended a field goal drought of 14:50 after he made a layup with 6.2 seconds left. He was fouled by Harris on the bucket and hit the free throw to cut the deficit to two, 71-69.
Earlier, Valentine and Travis Trice made 3s to close an 8-0 spurt early in the first half to give the Spartans a 10-3 lead.
Iowa then regained an advantage later in the half when White knocked down four free throws to cap an 8-0 run for the Hawkeyes.
Like much of the game, free throws were the reason Iowa kept it close in the first half. Marble ended another field goal drought -- a 6 1/2 minute stretch -- when he hit a jumper at 4:19 to give the Hawkeyes a 20-19 advantage. Iowa pushed its lead to 30-26 at the break.
Michigan State is now 10-0 on the road this season ... MSU now leads the all-time series 69-53 over Iowa ... Harris ended with nine points in the win ... Iowa was held to 18-of-48 (37.5 percent) shooting but made 30 free throws ... The teams were tied 38-38 in rebounds.