Iowa women's basketball: No. 12 Hawkeyes deliver a dud in loss at Michigan

Dargan Southard
Hawk Central

Inclement weather postponed Iowa’s road game at Michigan to 11 a.m. Friday.

The Hawkeyes never woke up in time.

A poor defensive effort and rebounding struggles snapped No. 12 Iowa’s five-game winning streak, as it fell 90-81 to the Wolverines in Ann Arbor.

Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder covers her face while reacting to an official's call during a NCAA women's basketball game on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, at Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City.

This is the first “bad loss” for Iowa (16-5, 7-3 Big Ten Conference) in what has otherwise been a strong season. The Hawkeyes took care of Michigan (13-9, 4-6) two weeks ago with a 14-point win at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, but the Wolverines controlled Friday’s game all the way through.

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Aside from a few brief minutes in the second quarter, Michigan led this one wire-to-wire. It had a 44-23 edge on the glass — including a 24-7 advantage on offensive rebounds — as Michigan reached 90 points for the first time since Nov. 19.

Four Wolverines reached double figures, led by Deja Church’s and Akienreh Johnson’s 19 points apiece. Iowa got 27 from Megan Gustafson and 22 from Kathleen Doyle, but the Hawkeyes were never really in striking distance.

A 13-0 second-quarter run countered Michigan’s strong opening period. Iowa, however, was back down by double figures once the fourth quarter started. The Hawkeyes got no closer than six over the final 10 minutes.

The postponement from 5 p.m. Thursday to 11 a.m. Friday wasn’t ideal, but this is a veteran Iowa group that should’ve handled the change better than it did.

All the same, it’s a short turnaround for the Hawkeyes, who play at Penn State on Sunday afternoon.      

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, HawkCentral.com and the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Email him at msouthard@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.