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Michigan State 59, Iowa 56

The SportsXchange

CHICAGO -- Michigan State rallied from a 13-point second half deficit and then held on at the end to claim a 59-56 victory over Iowa in Friday's Big Ten tournament quarterfinals at the United Center.

Spartan guard Gary Harris calmly hit two free throws with 29 seconds to pad the lead after the Hawkeyes closed to within a point in the final minute.

A last-ditch 3-point try by Iowa's Roy Devyn Marble to tie with five seconds left in regulation missed.

Adreian Payne collected 18 points and 10 rebounds while Keith Appling and Harris each added 11 for the No. 3 seed Spartans (25-7). Mike Gesell topped Iowa (21-12) with nine points.

Harris' 3-pointer with 4:10 to play capped a mammoth momentum swing and gave the Spartans their first lead of the game at 50-49.

By the 1:54 mark Michigan State appeared in control with a 57-51 lead. But Iowa's Aaron White hit a 3-pointer and Derrick Nix turned a Spartan turnover into a bucket in the paint and the Hawkeyes suddenly closed the gap to 57-56.

Michigan State meets Ohio State in Saturday's semifinals. The Buckeyes advanced with a 71-50 quarterfinal victory over Nebraska.

Iowa led by as many as 13 points early in the second half but Michigan State began to chip away when Payne dunked 77 seconds into the half and then added a baseline 3-pointer a minute later as the Spartans closed the gap to 33-26.

Payne's successful 3-pointer was Michigan State's first after eight misses.

The Spartans briefly crept to within six at 35-29 on Appling's dunk but got no closer as the Hawkeyes pushed the lead back to 12 as Zach McCabe's 3-pointer made it 45-33 with 12:15 showing.

Iowa's last double-digit lead came with 10:24 when McCabe's layup made it 47-35.

Appling's jumper 14 seconds later launched another Spartan comeback. This time, energized Michigan State outscored Iowa 15-2 over the next 6:14 to claim their first advantage.

The Hawkeyes never trailed in the opening half, sprinting to a 5-0 lead before the Spartans hit their first field goal at the 16:41 mark.

Iowa went on to a 22-14 lead late in the half, in part, to 8-for-9 free throw shooting and 3-pointers from Josh Oglesby and Marble.

Iowa pushed the advantage to 30-20 by halftime while Michigan State missed all eight 3-point tries and was 8-for-30 (26.7 percent) from the field in the half. Marble scored a game-high nine points for the Spartans. Iowa was 10 for 20 with six points from Gesell.

NOTES: Saturday's semifinals will be televised by CBS Sports. All tournament games are sold out. ... This is the third straight year Iowa and Michigan State have met in Big Ten Tournament. The Spartans eliminated the Hawkeyes in the first round in 2012 and quarterfinals in 2011. ... Michigan State also took the only regular meetings with a 62-59 decision in Iowa City on Jan. 10. ... The Spartans have won 10 of the last 11 meetings entering Friday. ... Hawkeyes junior With Melsahn Basabe became the second player in tournament history to collect 10-plus points, 10-plus rebounds and five-plus blocks in a game after he had 10 pointers 12 boards and five blocks in Thursday's victory over Northwestern ... Iowa came in with a 15-13 all-time tourney play and the 2001 title. Michigan State was 18-12 with championships in 1999, 2000 and 2012 ... Spartan coach Tom Izzo calls March his favorite month and with good reason. He's 77-35 overall in the month and 24-8 since 2009 ... Iowa's 73-59 Thursday win over Northwestern was third-year coach Frank McCaffery's 50th at Iowa. He won his 300th career game on March 9 against Nebraska.

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