Welcome to the second round of Iowa-Michigan basketball this year. The schools met on the football here Nov. 21 in the coldest recorded game in Kinnick Stadium history. The weather today is comparable temperature-wise, only with more snow.
Iowa (17-6, 6-4 Big Ten) enters the game on a two-game home losing streak and is ranked 17th by AP and 13th by the coaches. Michigan (17-5, 9-1 Big Ten) is ranked 10th by AP and 16th by the coaches. Go figure.
The teams met in Ann Arbor on Jan. 22 with Michigan winning 75-67. Michigan guard Nik Stauskas was the game’s most dominant player. He scored 26 points, grabbed five rebounds, dished five assists and added a block and a steal.
Stauskas ranks fifth in Big Ten scoring at 17.3 points a game, but also is seventh in assists (3.9), 11th in field-goal percentage (48.8 percent), first in 3-point percentage (44.7) and fourth in 3-pointers per game (2.4). Stauskas’ versatility makes him dangerous, Iowa Coach Fran McCaffery said.
“It’s tough because of how good the other players are,” McCaffery said. “When you take a team’s leading scorer and he clearly has put winning above everything else, if I need to get 25, I get 25, if I need to get eight assists, I’ll get eight assists. I’ll figure it out and I’ll execute that part of it and we’ll win. That says a lot about him, that says a lot about John (Beilein, Michigan’s coach), it says a lot about the culture that they have. Very unselfish team. Any game you can pick any number of seven, eight different guys could be the leading scorer.”
Michigan’s Glenn Robinson III (13.6) and Caris LeVert (12.2) also average more than double digits in scoring.
“They have multiple scorers,” McCaffery said. “They can really can score the ball. They’ve got shot makers, they’ve got 3-point shooters, they’ve probably got the most weapons of any team in the league.”
Iowa guard Peter Jok played five minutes against Ohio State, his most since getting in for five against Minnesota. He missed his only 3-point attempt in that game.
Jok, a 6-foot-6 freshman from Des Moines, has yet to play more than seven minutes in any Big Ten game this year. He had seven games of 14 minutes or more in non-conference play. Jok is a gifted, athletic player that’s not quite in tune defensively. But Iowa has struggled to maintain an 11-man rotation once Josh Oglesby came back from foot surgery in December.
“It’s me trying to reward him for how he’s competed,” McCaffery said. “When his playing time went in the other direction, he kept battling and he put really good practices back-to-back and he sent the message, ‘Hey, I want to play.’
“I said from the beginning sometimes it’s hard to get 11 in. We’ve done it. It’s easier to get 10 in. But I felt like with our struggles offensively the other night, he would have been a good fit in that game. I thought he was really good and I thought it was good for him to be in there at the time he was in there to get comfortable again. The kid deserves to play, and I’ve got to find a way to get him in there.”
This is Iowa’s last opportunity to matter in the Big Ten race. The Hawkeyes are three games behind both Michigan and Michigan State. It would be a tough climb to get in contention even by winning against Michigan and at Michigan State next month. But McCaffery has confidence his team can respond after losing on Tuesday against Ohio State.
“Because we have before,” McCaffery said. “I think this is will be a big test. We’re playing the first-place team in the league. We haven’t lost two games in a row all year. So we’ve responded every time we’ve been beaten. We’ll see. I like our professionalism in terms of our approach. Two losses, in terms of how we’ve responded in practice and how we respond in film session and everybody’s stayed pretty positive. So we’ll see.”
Statistically, Iowa ranks first in scoring (83.7) and scoring margin (16.5), while Michigan ranks third in scoring (76.1) and fourth in margin (12.5). Michigan leads the league in field-goal percentage (48.7), 3-point percentage (39.2) and free-throw percentage (75.6). Iowa ranks second, fourth and seven in those categories, respectively.
On the boards, Iowa leads the league with 43.3, while Michigan is last at 32.9, but Michigan gives up the second fewest rebounds per game (30.8). That means the Wolverines maximize their trips up the floor. Michigan leads in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6), while Iowa is fourth (1.3).
Today’s starters for Iowa: Melsahn Basabe, Adam Woodbury, Devyn Marble, Aaron White, Mike Gesell. Michigan starters: Glenn Robinson III, Nik Stauskas, Jordan Morgan, Caris LeVert, Derrick Walton Jr.
Devyn Marble turned the first half into his private exhibition. The Iowa senior scored 22 points on 8 of 13 shooting, including six 3-pointers, to lead Iowa to a 43-29 lead against the Wolverines.
Marble, a 6-foot-6 Southfield, Mich., native, scored Iowa’s first nine points on 3-pointers. When Michigan crept within six points at 16-10, Marble scored on a layup and a 3-pointer to push the score to 21-10. He buried a 3-pointer to put Iowa up 36-25 and then knocked one down with 1 second left in the half to give the Hawkeyes a 14-point halftime lead.
Iowa is 8-of-11 from 3-point range and made 53.3 percent from the floor. Michigan’s Caris LeVert has 11 points, and Zak Irvin has 10 off the bench.
IOWA CITY – Iowa guard Devyn Marble scored 26 points to lead No. 10/17 Iowa in a rout past No. 16/10 Michigan 85-67 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Saturday.
Marble, a 6-foot-6 senior, scored Iowa’s first nine points and had 22 by halftime on 8-of-13 shooting. Marble, a 6-foot-6 Southfield, Mich., native, scored Iowa’s first nine points on 3-pointers. He finished 6 of 10 from 3-pointer range and had two assists.
Iowa’s efficiency early proved the difference. When Michigan crept within six points at 16-10, Iowa took off on an 11-1 run that essentially ended the contest. Marble scored on a layup and a 3-pointer to push the score to 21-10. Iowa center Gabe Olaseni scored inside and hit one of two free throws to move it to 24-10. After Michigan’s Caris LeVert sank one free throw, Iowa’s Zach McCabe buried a 3-pointer to push Iowa ahead 27-11.
Marble continued to shine the rest of the half. He answered mid-half Michigan baskets with a jumper and a 3-pointer to put Iowa up 36-25. Marble ended the half by drilling a 3-pointer with 1 second left to give the Hawkeyes a 14-point halftime lead.
Iowa (18-6, 7-4 Big Ten) continued to pour it on after halftime. Three consecutive possessions with scores, including a 3-pointer and pair of free throws by point guard Mike Gesell.
The win ended a two-game home losing skid for Iowa. The Hawkeyes previously had won 20 straight before back-to-back home losses to Michigan State and Ohio State. Iowa also had struggled against top-20 programs this season, winning just one of seven before Saturday.
Gesell scored 10 points, dished eight assists and grabbed four rebounds for the Hawkeyes. Aaron White had 11 points and eight rebounds.
Michigan (17-6, 9-2 Big Ten), which beat Iowa 75-67 on Jan. 22 in Ann Arbor, was led by LeVert, who scored 22 points and grabbed five rebounds. Zak Irvin scored 19 points for the Wolverines.
Iowa had 22 assists on 29 baskets, including nine on its first 10 scores in the first half. Iowa, the Big Ten’s leading rebounding team, outrebounded Michigan 38-29. Iowa registered nine steals and forced 12 Michigan turnovers. Iowa had only seven turnovers.
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