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Poor second-half shooting plagues Michigan once again, falls to Iowa, 88-78

The Wolverines shot 28% in the second half.

NCAA Basketball: Iowa at Michigan Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jacob Singer Jake Singer is a junior at the University of Michigan majoring in Political Science. He is a Michigan Football and Basketball Writer for SB Nation's Maize and Brew

The Michigan Wolverines had the pieces to defeat the Iowa Hawkeyes, taking a lead into halftime and three players scoring in double-digits. Even Sherrone Moore and Donovan Edwards gave speeches to the Crisler crowd. Nonetheless, second-half shooting plagued Michigan once again, and it lost, 88-78.

The Wolverines took on an Iowa team that also came off two straight losses, losing to Purdue and Maryland. Because of this, both teams were looking to turn the page against one another on Saturday night.

First half

The first half started hot for both teams and stayed close, with neither team taking too big of a lead. Tarris Reed Jr. started the scoring for Michigan and kept his foot on the gas for the first four minutes, scoring six of the team’s first eight points. Owen Freeman did the same for the Hawkeyes, scoring six points in ten minutes, showcasing a big-on-big display.

Tied 8-8 at the under-16 timeout, the score stayed within three points for the next ten minutes until the Wolverines went on a 10-0 run to push their lead to nine points. Quickly after, though, the Hawkeyes went on a run too and brought the score within four.

With very little three-point shooting by either team, the bigs feasted in the paint. Olivier Nkamhoua, Reed, Ben Krikke and Freeman all scored 7+ points in the half. Guards Namari Burnett, Dug McDaniel and Tony Perkins for Iowa also attacked the rim repeatedly off the dribble and drive.

With a lot of back-and-forth play, largely due to each team having eight players score a point in the first half, Nkamhoua’s 10 points propelled the Wolverines to a slim 44-42 lead going into halftime.

Second half

Out of halftime, Iowa came out firing and didn’t miss. Josh Dix, Payton Sandfort and Perkins combined for eight quick points (3-for-3) to put together an 8-2 run and take a six-point lead within the first two minutes of the half. Howard was forced to call an early timeout.

Down eight points, Terrance Williams II sparked a little run. After making a three, McDaniel made a floater on the following possession and the Michigan defense forced a Hawkeye turnover into the media timeout to cut the Iowa lead to three.

Out of the under-16 timeout, each team tested the other. Perkins and Williams traded two mid-range shots. Sandfort and Jace Howard traded threes. Will Tschetter and Freeman traded three-point plays as well. It was a Sandfort three before the next media timeout, however, that extended the Hawkeyes’ lead to seven, 67-60.

While the Wolverines gave up the last two times the opposing team went on a run, they tried something different on Saturday There was more fire to the team. Out of the stoppage, Tschetter and Williams made back-to-back threes and forced two turnovers on defense to bring the game within one.

This run was short-lived, however, as Iowa responded, behind 10 points by Patrick McCaffrey (two) and Sandfort (eight), to take a nine-point lead.

The game unraveled from there. Michigan committed two fouls which led to four made free throws and Sandfort added to his game-leading total of 23 points to build a comfortable 12-point lead for the Hawkeyes with 3:42 remaining in regulation.

Williams and Burnett made some free throws, but the Wolverines made one shot for the rest of the game and fell to Iowa, 88-78.

Williams led Michigan with 16 points and Nkamhoua and McDaniel each scored 13. Sandfort finished with 26 and Perkins tallied 24 in the win for the Hawkeyes. The Wolverines had fewer turnovers and more rebounds than their opponent, but they shot 28 percent in the second half. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Michigan will take on Michigan State on the road on Tuesday.