Aaron White: 'It just wasn't a good night for me'
IOWA CITY, Ia. – Aaron White just didn't have it Thursday.
"It wasn't a good night for me," Iowa's leading scorer and rebounder said after a 75-61 loss to Michigan State at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
White finished with eight points and four field-goal attempts, both season lows. His four rebounds matched a season low. He was averaging 16.5 points, 7.4 rebounds and nine field-goal attempts entering the game.
"I didn't deserve the ball," White said. "I didn't play well enough to where my teammates should've been looking at me."
It was clear to Iowa coach Fran McCaffery that his senior forward didn't have it early on.
"He didn't seem to have his usual energy level," McCaffery said. "If you remember, we took him out early. We just wanted him to settle down, relax. I think he was hyped. We put him in, and he was a little better. But he certainly wasn't himself."
White attempted just one shot in the 11 minutes he played the first half, a drive to the basket where he tried to slide around a defender and missed with 6 minutes, 47 seconds remaining. But his teammates stepped up and Iowa took a 39-28 halftime lead.
He had a dunk and made a 3-pointer on Iowa's first two possessions of the second half, but got nothing going after that.
White, who entered the game shooting 86.3 percent from the free-throw line, missed three of four attempts after halftime. That included a pair of misses after getting fouled in the act of shooting.
"It's the first time I've done that all year," White said of the back-to-back misses. "I don't know. I wish I had an answer for you. It just wasn't a good night for me."
White was matched up with Michigan State senior Branden Dawson, who limited his looks at the basket. Dawson finished with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
"I've played against guys who are tough to go against (before)," White said. "Usually, I raise the bar to play against those guys. But (Thursday) I was really frustrated with myself, because I didn't help my team at all."
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo noticed.
"I love Aaron White, I really do," Izzo said, adding, "Your best players ... White didn't play as good, and that makes a difference."
This was White's last shot at beating Michigan State, unless they meet in the Big Ten Tournament. He's 0-7 against Izzo's teams. This was an opportunity lost, but a trip to Minnesota waits in the wings on Tuesday.
"It was a frustrating game for me, because I usually do better," White said. "I'll do better the next game."