In a high-powered offensive game that saw both teams shoot over 40% in field goals and three-pointers, the Michigan Wolverines couldn’t hold onto a seven-point lead in the final minutes of regulation and ultimately fell to the Iowa Hawkeyes by a score of 84-93.
Here’s how the game broke down for Michigan.
Jett Howard came sprinting out of the gate to start this one, as he went four-for-four — including a trio of three-point makes — to put the Wolverines up by as much as seven in the early goings. The Hawkeyes quickly recovered however, and took Michigan into a back-and-forth affair, with neither team leading by more than four points through the remainder of the half.
Ultimately, a near-three-minute scoring drought by Iowa gave way for the Wolverines to convert a one-point deficit into a three-point lead heading into halftime, by way of a pair of jumpers from Howard and Kobe Bufkin.
Statistically, Howard was far and away the points leader for Michigan at halftime — scoring 21 points on a tremendous eight-for-eleven line from the field and a season-high five first-half three-pointers. Hunter Dickinson led the Wolverines’ rebounding efforts with five boards.
Much like the beginning of the first half, Michigan raced out to an initial seven-point lead coming out of the locker room, only to see the Hawkeyes respond in a big way to bring the margin back to a tossup. Unlike that sequence, however, the Wolverines didn’t allow Iowa to hang around for long — making six of their next ten shots to push the lead as far as ten points and generally keep it within five-to-seven points headed into the third media timeout.
What tripped Michigan up down the stretch was their own mistakes; after giving up four turnovers in as many minutes, Iowa crept back into the game and pulled the Wolverines’ lead back to one possession, keeping up with the Michigan offense long enough to make it anyone’s game in the final minute.
In arguably the most noteworthy play of the game for the Hawkeyes, Iowa guard Payton Sandford tied the game up at 79 with a momentous three-point shot that also drew a foul, creating a four-point play. Though the Wolverines had the chance to win the game, Dug McDaniel couldn’t find the basket on a driving lay-up, sending the game to overtime.
As opposed to the high-powered offensive display seen in regulation, Michigan’s offense seemed unable to get anything going, missing their initial three shots of the period. With momentum firmly in their favor, Iowa quickly jumped out to a six-point lead and never looked back — ultimately outscoring the Wolverines in overtime 14-5.
Statistically, Jett Howard finished as the Wolverines’ points leader with a season-high 34 points. Dickinson finished as Michigan’s rebounding leader with 13 boards.
The Wolverines return to Crisler Center on Sunday, January 15th, when they face off against the Northwestern Wildcats. Tip-off is scheduled for noon and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.