EAST LANSING, Mich. – Iowa proved it could beat, dominate in fact, Michigan State even with Denzel Valentine on the court.
Peter Jok scored 19 of his 23 points in the first half to help the 16th-ranked Hawkeyes build a huge lead that helped them rout the fourth-ranked Spartans 76-59 on Thursday night.
"Pete has that ability to get going," Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. "We found him early and we kept going to him."
Iowa (13-3, 4-0 Big Ten) humbled the Spartans for the second time in two weeks and defeated them on the road for the first time since 1993, ending an 18-game losing streak.
"To beat one of the best teams in the Big Ten on their home court is big," Jarrod Uthoff said. "It doesn't matter what happened 23 years ago."
Valentine had a relatively lackluster game with 14 points, five assists and four rebounds. He played in his second game since returning from a four-game absence while recovering from knee surgery.
"He's not back to normal," Spartans coach Tom Izzo said.
Valentine watched from the bench on Dec. 29 when the Hawkeyes beat the then-top ranked Spartans 83-70.
McCaffery insisted it didn't make much of a difference to have Valentine on the court.
That was clear.
With or without Valentine, the Hawkeyes have shot better and hustled more than Michigan State.
"They made shots and they got every loose ball," Izzo lamented. "It hurts me to admit it, but they did it twice. We're going to have to regroup."
Michigan State (16-2, 3-2) was down by 22 points at halftime, its largest deficit at home since at least the 1996-97 season.
"I did not see it coming," McCaffery said.