After Michigan State lost its first two opening games against No. 1 North Carolina on an aircraft carrier in front of the President of the United States, and against No. 6 Duke in Madison Square Garden when Coach K was trying to become the winningest coach in college basketball history, the Spartans made a commitment to each other.
"We've gone from nothing to something," sophomore guard Keith Appling said. "When we hung around against North Carolina and Duke, we made a commitment that we're not going to lose any more."
They were serious. The Spartans' commitment holds strong as they haven't lost in nearly two months.
No. 7 Michigan State (15-2, 4-0) crushed the Iowa Hawkeyes (10-8, 2-3) 95-61 on Tuesday night at the Breslin Center. Five players from Michigan State scored in double figures during the rout. Senior Draymond Green led the way with 22 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, and three steals. While Green was the leading scorer, he had plenty of help from sophomore Keith Appling.
Appling, who is a converted point guard, had a terrific game, scoring 15 points, delivering nine assists, earning three steals, and committing zero turnovers. The Spartans came out firing on all cylinders and shot 10/18 from beyond the arc. The 10 three pointers made is a season high. The bench played a huge role for the Spartans, scoring 37 points. Bench players Derrick Nix and Travis Trice both scored 10 points a piece.
Valparaiso transfer Brandon Wood helped push the pace in the beginning of the game, ending the game with 12 points.
As good as the Spartans have looked recently, Tom Izzo still believes his team hasn't peaked.
"I keep feeling like I'm downgrading us, I'm really not. I just feel we have so much more to learn," Izzo said.
The Hawkeyes were led by freshmen bench player Aaron White, who scored 15 points.
Michigan State has improved to 11-0 at home during its 15-game winning streak.
The Northwestern Wildcats will have the next chance to end the Spartans' streak when MSU travels to Northwestern on Saturday.