Chicago, IL – No. 8 Michigan State overcame a ten-point deficit at halftime and defeated Iowa, 59-56, on Friday in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.
Michigan State (25-7), which earned the third seed and a first-round bye in the tourney, will face Ohio State in the semifinals on Saturday.
Adreian Payne had 18 points and 10 rebounds while Keith Appling and Gary Harris scored 13 points apiece for the Spartans.
"That had to be one of the most physical games I ever played in," Appling said. "Those guys were all over the place each and every possession. Luckily we were able to pull it off at the end."
Mike Gesell led Iowa (21-12) with nine points and Melsahn Basabe had eight points and eight rebounds for the Hawkeyes, who defeated Northwestern, 73-59, in the first round on Thursday.
"I think we deserve to be in the NCAA Tournament," Iowa guard Eric May said. "I'm really proud of my team. We are a really good team and we have fought all season long. Whenever we are playing, we are going to play our tails off next week, wherever we are playing."
Iowa started strong, outscoring Michigan State 17-9 in the first ten minutes of the game and extended its lead by as much as 10 points, 30-20, at the end of the half.
The Hawkeyes were efficient on both ends of the floor, shooting 50 percent from the field and limiting the Spartans to 8-of-30 shooting, including 0- for-8 from three-point range.
However, the Spartans turned things around in the second half. They forced the Hawkeyes to commit 10 turnovers in the frame, including four off Anthony Clemmons.
Iowa was in front as many as 13 early in the second half.
Down 49-46 with 4:42 remaining, Payne sank a pair of free throws to start an 11-0 run to give the Spartans the lead. He would cap off the surge with a layup with 1:52 left to give Michigan State a 57-49 lead.
Iowa responded with a 7-0 spurt, capped with a layup from Basabe to cut the deficit to 57-56 with 1:04 seconds to go.
Harris made a pair of free throws with 29 seconds remaining to give the Spartans a 59-56 lead.
With seven seconds left, Roy Devyn Marble attempted a 3-pointer to tie the game but missed, and Payne grabbed the defensive rebound to seal the win.
Michigan State defeated Iowa in their only regular-season matchup, 62-59, on Jan. 10.