Michigan State opened its 2012 Big Ten Tournament in style on Friday afternoon, defeating Iowa 92-75 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis to earn a spot in Saturday's semifinals.
Four Spartans finished with double-figure scoring efforts, led by Draymond Green's 21 points to go with 10 rebounds and five assists. Adreian Payne finished with 16 points and seven rebounds, Keith Appling had 12 points along with six assists and Brandon Wood put up 10 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the field. Derrick Nix and Travis Trice just missed out on double figures, adding nine points each.
Josh Oglesby led the way for the Hawkeyes (17-16, 8-10 Big Ten) with 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting from three-point territory. Roy Devyn Marble and Zach McCabe finished with 13 points each and Matt Gatens had 10 points.
After the game, Green told Dan Dakich of ESPN that he was especially happy with the defense on Gatens, a 15.9 points per game scorer who had been averaging 22.7 points over his previous seven game.
"All of those guys stepped up and did a good job on him," Green said. "That was big for us."
The loss, in all likelihood, drops Iowa to the National Invitational Tournament. The Spartans (25-7, 13-5 Big Ten), meanwhile, will face the winner of the Wisconsin-Indiana matchup on Saturday with a berth in the championship game at stake.
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