Michigan came into the game losing four of its last five games, three of those coming within six points or less. Against the Indiana Hoosiers on Tuesday, the team gave up 52 points in the paint. Sunday was a different story, however, as both teams showed more defense than offense early on.
In the first half, both teams got off to a very slow start, going scoreless through the first two minutes. Iowa then forced a few turnovers and got the scoring going with Pat McCaffrey, but the Wolverines responded with some scoring of their own, relying on Tarris Reed Jr. and Terrance Williams II for their first nine points.
Coming out of the under-12-minute timeout, Michigan led 16-15. The Hawkeyes then switched up their defense, going from man-to-man to zone, and it worked for a while. After Nimari Burnett made a tough basket with a foul, Michigan went cold, shooting 1-for-7 for three minutes, giving the lead back to Iowa.
To get the game back under control, Reed, Will Tschetter and Williams stepped up in a big way. Reed scored a career-high 12 points in the first half, Tschetter tallied five rebounds and five points and Williams made two three-pointers and finished with eight points for the half. Ben Krikke, the Valparaiso transfer, led Iowa with 12 points for the half.
The Wolverines went into halftime up 35-33 despite both Dug McDaniel and Olivier Nkamhoua going scoreless in the half and the team shooting 40 percent from the field and 25 percent from three-point range. Iowa shot 40 percent from the field as well and 14 percent from three for the half.
Iowa came out in the second half scoring two quick layups by Tony Perkins and Krikke. Those were the only points it would score for three minutes as the Wolverines went on an 11-0 run led by Nkamhoua, Burnett and McDaniel, including a monster alley-oop by Nkamhoua. In that run, Michigan shot 3-of-3 from three-point range as well.
The Hawkeyes didn’t help themselves either once down 46-37, turning the ball over three times in five minutes leading to more Michigan scoring.
The Wolverines went on another scoring run for two more minutes, this time a 12-2 run, making seven straight field goals. McDaniel had six points in this span and Reed added to his career high with five more points. Michigan found itself winning 62-42 over Iowa with 12 minutes to play.
At the 12:25 mark, the Hawkeyes unraveled even more with head coach Fran McCaffrey receiving two technical fouls and getting ejected from the game.
The Wolverines then went on a little scoring drought for two minutes, and Iowa tried to cut the deficit in the process by scoring five points. Nkamhoua and Tray Jackson kept their foot on the pedal for Michigan, however, maintaining a 16-point lead.
After back-and-forth play by both teams, Iowa went scoreless for 2:30 and Nkamhoua hit a big three-pointer, McDaniel made a few shots and Williams made his third three-pointer of the game to stay up by 18 points with four minutes to go.
The Wolverines put in their bench players with a minute and a half remaining, but Iowa’s Payton Sandfort made two three-pointers (the Hawkeyes’ third and fourth made threes for the entire game), Youssef Khayat turned the ball over on an inbound pass and Khayat had to call two timeouts on the next two inbound passes as Iowa cut the lead from 18 to 12. Interim head coach Phil Martelli elected to keep his backups in, however, and Michigan would maintain the double-digit lead to win the game, 90-80.
Reed finished with 19 points and six rebounds, Nkamhoua had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Burnett scored 14. The Wolverines finished with five players in double-digits. For the Hawkeyes, Krikke scored 24 points and Perkins finished with 19 points.
Michigan will head back home to face Eastern Michigan on Saturday, Dec. 16.