Live from Ann Arbor: Michigan outlasts Iowa

Scott Dochterman
Published: January 22 2014 | 4:55 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 2:31 am in
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ANN ARBOR -- No. 21/25 Michigan withstood enough Iowa runs and extended enough of their own to beat the No. 10 Hawkeyes 75-67 at the Crisler Center tonight.

Michigan led by 11 points with 8:08 remaining, when Iowa's Aaron White took it upon himself to bring Iowa (15-4, 4-2 Big Ten) back in the game. White scored on Iowa's next four possessions to cut the deficit to 62-58 with 6:26 left.

But the Wolverines (14-4, 6-0) continued to answer. Nik Stauskas, the Big Ten's leading scorer, knocked down a jumper to boost Michigan's lead back to six. White then scored on a dunk, and Zak Irvin drilled a 3-pointer.

White, who scored 13 consecutive points for Iowa, then scored four more on a pair of free throws and dunk to bring Iowa within three at 67-64. But Iowa could not get enough defensive stops. Glenn Robinson III scored afterward to move Michigan ahead 69-64.

White hit one of two free throws, but Michigan hit six straight free throws in the final minute to seal the win.

Stauskas scored a game-high 26 points for the Wolverines, hitting 8-of-14 from the floor. Both White and Melsahn Basabe scored 17 points for Iowa.

The Hawkeyes play at Northwestern on Saturday. The Wolverines play at co-Big Ten leader Michigan State on Saturday night.

HALFTIME

Behind 15 points from Nik Stauskas, No. 21/25 Michigan has taken a 38-34 halftime lead on No. 10 Iowa tonight at Crisler Center.

Stauskas, the Big Ten's current player of the week and scoring leading, hit 5 of 8 shots in the first half, including two 3-pointers. He added four assists and three rebounds.

Iowa's Melsahn Basabe battled inside for 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting. The Hawkeyes shot 53.8 percent from the field and scored 24 points in the paint. But Michigan battled the Hawkeyes to a standstill on the boards with each team grabbing 17.

Adam Woodbury added six points for Iowa. The Hawkeyes' duo of Devyn Marble (4) and Aaron White (1) struggled for the second consecutive game. The pair were held to one point in the first half against Minnesota on Sunday.

Iowa twice led by five points in the first half, the second on Zach McCabe's fadeaway jumper with 9:51 left in the half. The Michigan rushed on a 9-0 run, paced by a Stauskas 3-pointer and basket. Iowa pushed back to gain a 31-30 edge on a pair of Woodbury baskets.

But Michigan scored six straight points, and Stauskas scored the Wolverines' final five points.

There were seven ties and five lead changes in the first half. Nearly half of Michigan's rebounds were offensive, and the Wolverines scored 11 second-chance points.

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PREGAME NOTES

After nearly three hours in travel delays, Mike Hlas and I made it safely to the Crisler Center. The arena and adjacent practice center looks terrific and you'll notice it tonight on BTN.

Announcing superstar Gus Johnson was unable to make here, so Eric Collins will call the game instead. Providing color commentary, as scheduled, is Stephen Bardo.

This is the first of two meetings this year between these league foes. They met only once in the last two years. Iowa blasted Michigan by 16 points two years ago at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, while the Wolverines returned the favor with a 28-point stomping last year here. They are set to meet in Iowa City on Saturday, Feb. 8 (1 p.m. ESPN). This is the 149th meeting in the 93-year-old series, and Michigan leads 90-58.

In analyzing these teams, there's more similar than different statistically. No. 10 Iowa (15-3, 4-1) leads the Big Ten in four categories (points, scoring margin, field-goal defense, rebounds) while No. 21/25 Michigan (13-4, 5-0) tops out in rebounds allowed, field-goal percentage and 3-pointers per game.

There are a few statistical outliers. Iowa's field-goal defense (37.2 percent) leads the league, while Michigan ranks 11th (42.9). Iowa also ranks second in 3-point defense (28.2 percent), while Michigan is 10th. Iowa is first in rebounds per game (44.6) and Michigan ranks last (33.5). Iowa also is second in blocks per game (5.3) while Michigan is last (2.9).

Michigan holds a significant edge in 3-pointers per game (8.5), while Iowa ranks ninth (6.1). Michigan allows just 30.9 rebounds a game, while Iowa is ninth at 34.9.

Primary edge -- Iowa in the post and on defense. The Hawkeyes average 11.1 more rebounds and 2.4 more blocks and holds opponents to significantly lower shooting percentages.

Key matchup -- Michigan's Nik Stauskas vs. Iowa's perimeter defense. Stauskas leads the Big Ten in scoring at 18 points a game and ranks third in both 3-point percentage and 3-pointers made. Iowa's 3-point defense is the league's second-best (28.2 percent), but the Hawkeyes haven't faced a shooter like Stauskas.

Prime number -- Michigan allowed 72 or more points in three of its losses. Only twice this season has Iowa scored fewer than 77.

Going home -- Iowa's Devyn Marble has a huge contingent cheering for him. Marble hails from Detroit, about 35 miles east of Ann Arbor. Among Big Ten players, Marble ranks eighth in scoring (16.3), second in steals and fifth in assist-to-turnover ratio.

Quotable -- Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery on counterpart, Michigan's John Beilein: "I think if you look at John over the years, he’s one of the best coaches of our generation. The numbers bear that out. He’s going to stick with his style of play. They play a certain way. They can beat you in half court they can beat you in transition, they’re going to guard you. His offense is really sound. It’s not easy to guard."

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