No. 25 Iowa pounds No. 5 Michigan for signature victory of season
IOWA CITY, Ia. — No basketball team in America had pushed around the Michigan Wolverines the way the Iowa Hawkeyes did Friday.
Iowa owned the paint, dominated the glass and put a stranglehold on the 3-point arc.
The result was the biggest win of the winter for the No. 25 Hawkeyes, 74-59, at a soldout Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Luka Garza scored 19 points to lead the charge. Joe Wieskamp added 16. Ryan Kriener came off the bench to contribute 15 points and 10 rebounds.
This was against the top-rated defense in the nation. Michigan was holding opponents to 56 points per game. Iowa became only the second to eclipse 70.
Iowa outrebounded the Wolverines 48-36, outscored them 40-20 in the paint, limited them to 8-of-33 shooting from the 3-point line.
It was a dominant performance from start to finish by Iowa, which snapped a two-game losing streak.
Not that it was easy.
No. 5 Michigan made runs at Iowa in the second half, getting the lead down to 54-49 at one point. Garza answered with two finesse moves in the post and then a 3-pointer from the right wing to push the margin back to 10. Wieskamp then gathered a pass that wasn't quite on target, muscled into the lane and stuck a tough layup while being fouled.
The Hawkeyes pushed the lead as high as 16 points and withstood Michigan's late pressure defense to hang on.
Iowa (17-5, 6-5 Big Ten Conference) played an inspired first half, including a 21-2 stretch that built a 14-point advantage. That was the largest deficit Michigan (20-2, 9-2) had faced all season.
Wieskamp was a catalyst, continually driving through the nation’s top-ranked defense for layups. He had 12 first-half points.
Kriener was the star of the first half for the Hawkeyes, however. Garza went out with two fouls with 13 minutes left in the half. Kriener made that immaterial, scoring 11 points and grabbing seven rebounds to help Iowa create a 42-29 halftime advantage. The 42 points tied for the most Michigan has allowed in a half all season.
Iowa outrebounded Michigan 26-12 in the first half and outscored the Wolverines 22-8 in the paint. Michigan coach John Beilein played 7-foot-1 starting center Jon Teske only 85 seconds in the first half after he drew two early fouls.
Teske scored eight second-half points, but fouled out while trying to combat Garza and Kriener inside.
The only other time Iowa lost back-to-back games this season, it responded with an inspired home victory over Iowa State. That ranked as the Hawkeyes' most impressive win of the season.
Until Friday. The Wolverines never knew what hit them.
Iowa next plays at Indiana on Thursday.
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