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Interesting outing

The biggest news at Michigan State's Breslin Center on Wednesday probably centered around the fact that Iowa hung with the ninth-ranked Spartans throughout the Big Ten game. Michigan State wasn't at its best in a game sandwiched between a come-from-behind victory over Wisconsin on Sunday and this weekend's road trip to Illinois. But, it still is progress of sorts for an Iowa team that has been blown out early and often in its most recent visits to East Lansing. The Hawkeyes haven't won here since 1993 and the eight-point margin Wednesday was the closest game between the teams here since 1997. Still, Todd Lickliter wasn't interested in a history lesson following his team's 10th straight road loss. "The only thing that concerned us was what happened here tonight. These are two new teams, teams that haven't had much to do with what happened in the past,'' Lickliter said. "There were stretches when we competed fairly well and overall, we hung tough, so there are some positives that we can take from this.'' That was the message Lickliter painted early and often to his team and it is valid. Iowa hung close, but was unable to overcome a 6-of-21 game from 3-point range that saw no Hawkeye shoot over 50 percent from behind the stripe. "We had some open looks. We just didn't knock them down,'' guard Jake Kelly said. Kelly was one of three Hawkeyes who played all 40 minutes Wednesday, joining Matt Gatens and Devan Bawinkel in playing 85 minutes in Iowa's two games so far this week.

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