IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Branden Dawson scored a career-high 17 points, including a dunk after a steal with less than a minute, leading No. 22 Michigan State to a 62-59 victory over Iowa on Thursday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
With the game tied at 56, Dawson stepped into a passing lane and went the distance for the dunk.
It was the first road win in the Big Ten for Michigan State (13-3, 2-1 Big Ten).
After Dawson's dunk, Iowa (11-5, 0-3) had several chances to tie the game but couldn't convert from the free-throw line. Michigan State's Keith Appling was a perfect 4-for-4 from the line in the final seconds to put the game away.
Gary Harris added 14 points for the Spartans, while Appling had 12 and Adreian Payne chipped in with 10.
Zach McCabe scored 15 points to lead the Hawkeyes, while Melsahn Basabe had 14.
Michigan State erased an eight-point deficit midway through the second half with a 16-4 run to take a 46-42 lead. Iowa eventually retook the lead, 51-49.
Iowa had about as perfect a start as it could have wanted.
The Hawkeyes hit 10 of their first 14 shots and opened a 26-14 lead midway through the first half, taking advantage of a frigid start from the Spartans.
Michigan State shot just 37 percent from the field before the break and made just three of nine free-throw attempts, yet the Spartans somehow trailed just 28-24 at halftime.
Zach McCabe came off the bench to spark the Hawkeyes, scoring seven first-half points. Iowa's Aaron White and Basabe each scored six apiece before halftime.
Michigan State got first-half seven points from Dawson, who got the Spartans within two points late in the half when he blocked a shot and took the ball the distance of the court for a spinning layup.
NOTES: Iowa junior Roy Devyn Marble did not play because of a sprained ankle suffered during practice. Marble is the Hawkeyes' leading scorer at 15.5 points a game. He plays 39.9 minutes a game, more than any other Iowa player, and was replaced in the starting lineup by senior Eric May. ... Entering the game, Michigan State, fourth in the Big Ten in rebounding margin, had been outrebounded only one time this season. The Hawkeyes held a 39-37 rebounding edge Thursday. ... Michigan State's Denzel Valentine and Iowa's Anthony Clemmons were high school teammates who won back-to-back state titles at Lansing (Mich.) Sexton High in 2011 and 2012. Valentine was scoreless in 21 minutes Thursday, while Clemmons scored four points in 22 minutes.