EAST LANSING, Mich. – Luka Garza had his worst game offensively in two-plus years and No. 15 Iowa still had enough from the rest of its team to rout Michigan State 88-58 on Saturday.
The Hawkeyes (15-6, 9-5 Big Ten) had three players score in double figures and Garza wasn’t one of them, showing future opponents that focusing so much on him is not a formula for success.
“It just changes everything," coach Fran McCaffery acknowledged.
Garza’s teammates more than made up for the star senior being held to eight points, well below his 20-point average, and missing 8 of 11 shots from the field. The Spartans swarmed around the 6-foot-11 center when he had the ball in the post, leaving his teammates open on the outside, and they took advantage.
Joe Wieskamp scored 21 points, Jack Nunge matched a career high with 18 points and Connor McCaffery added 16 points for the Hawkeyes. The trio combined to make 10 of 15 3-pointers, helping the team connect on 13 of 25 shots beyond the arc after the defense collapsed on Garza.
“He drew guys and passed it when he needed to," Nunge said.
The staggering Spartans (10-8, 4-8) are in danger of missing the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1997.
Michigan State started the afternoon hoping to earn a quality win against a team it lost by just six points to earlier this month. It walked off the court disheartened by the most lopsided loss in coach Tom Izzo's 26-year career in charge of the program.