On a day when Michigan retired the jersey of former star Rudy Tomjanovich, the Wolverines played well enough to give the current Houston Rockets coach a win in his return to Ann Arbor Saturday.
Tomjanovich, a star for the Wolverines from 1968-70 had his No. 45 jersey hung from the Crisler Arena rafters and then sat and enjoyed as Michigan (7-2 Big Ten, 14-8 overall) used a 17-4 run in the second half to knock off Iowa (4-4, 12-7), 70-62.
“To have Rudy Tomjanovich here and to see his jersey retired means a lot to this program,” Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said. “It is important for a team in a conference like the Big Ten to win in their home arena in front of their home crowd.”
Junior Bernard Robinson was outstanding in leading the Wolverines’ charge.
The forward finished with a personal season-high 21 points to go along
with six assists and six rebounds in 36 minutes.
“I hit my first jump shot and then I opened up a little bit and got more confidence,” Robinson said. “I was able to get to the basket today and find those other players, and we finished our shots.”
The undermanned Hawkeyes, who dressed just nine players for the game,
played a tough game, trailing by just two at halftime, 31-29. Iowa then
took the lead early in the second half and extended it to as much as 46-40 on a layup by forward Greg Brunner.
But the Iowa luck ran out when star guard Chauncey Leslie was hit with two fouls in a matter of a minute, giving him four on the game and putting him on the Hawkeyes’ bench for much of the remainder of the game.
Michigan turned to a balanced attack that saw four players finish in double figures, led by Robinson’s 21.
The Wolverines finally retook the lead at 52-50 when freshman Daniel
Horton, who finished with 16 points, threw down a breakaway dunk. Freshman Lester Abram added 14 points and nine rebounds, and senior LaVell Blanchard pitched in a double-double with 10 points and 12 boards.
Michigan returns to action on Wednesday night when it travels to Indiana to take on the struggling Hoosiers.