No. 24 Iowa makes big shots late to hold off No. 20 Michigan in Big Ten thriller
IOWA CITY, Ia. — The most entertaining Iowa game of the season came down to who would get the basket that mattered most Friday at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes and Michigan were locked in a white-knuckle, seesaw affair, both offenses humming and an enthusiastic crowd buzzing.
Freshman guard CJ Fredrick gave Iowa the lead for good with a coldblooded 3-pointer from the right elbow. Senior center Ryan Kriener stepped out to the left elbow for another 3 just when Michigan had pulled within a point.
The Hawkeyes hung on for a 90-83 victory, avenging an earlier loss to the Wolverines and serving notice that they will not be bullied in their home gym.
Luka Garza led Iowa with 33 points, igniting a late charge with a seven-point burst that set up Fredrick's dagger 3. Fredrick finished with 21 points. Joe Wieskamp added 20. Kriener ended up with 14, his timely 3-pointer his only points of the second half.
The Hawkeyes made 27 of 30 free throws. They stood strong down the stretch.
No. 24 Iowa (13-5, 4-3 Big Ten Conference) used an 18-2 run midway through the first half to take an 11-point lead and bring a spirited crowd to its feet. Kriener was the catalyst, scoring 11 points in a 6-minute stretch off the bench, his season-high in a conference game.
Wieskamp added a trio of 3-pointers, a big lift for an Iowa team that made only 3 of 15 attempts from the arc in a Dec. 6 103-91 loss at Michigan.
Garza, as usual, led the Hawkeyes in scoring with 18 points in the opening half.
But the big news for Iowa was that it committed only four fouls in the half, allowing Michigan to go just 2-for-2 from the free-throw line. The Wolverines attempted 34 free throws in the first meeting.
No. 20 Michigan (11-6, 2-4) did make a late run at Iowa in the opening half, making 7 of 8 shots in one stretch to cut the deficit at intermission to 47-43. With star point guard Zavier Simpson limited to 9 minutes of court time because of foul trouble, Eli Brooks responded with 14 points. Michigan also committed only two turnovers in the opening half.
Brooks finished with 25 points.
Iowa next hosts Rutgers on Wednesday.
Mark Emmert covers the Iowa Hawkeyes for the Register. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 319-339-7367. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkEmmert.
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