Branden Dawson scored a career-high 17 points, including a late steal and tiebreaking dunk that helped No. 22 Michigan State hold off Iowa 62-59 on Thursday night.
Gary Harris had 14 points for the Spartans (13-3, 2-1 Big Ten), who hung on late for their eighth win in nine games.
Dawson ripped the ball away from Iowa freshman Mike Gesell and gave Michigan State a 58-56 lead with 49 seconds left.
Anthony Clemmons missed a free throw that would have tied it with 12 seconds to go and airballed a 3-pointer at the buzzer as Iowa (11-5, 0-3) lost its third straight.
The Hawkeyes played without leading scorer Devyn Marble, who sprained his ankle in practice this week.
Zach McCabe led Iowa with 15 points and fellow reserve Melsahn Basabe added 14.