It didn’t take long for the Michigan women’s basketball team’s eight-point lead late in the second half to disappear.

With just 44 seconds left to play in Thursday’s game, Iowa’s Kamille Wahlin hit a go-ahead 3-pointer. It was the Hawkeyes’ first lead of the game.

On the ensuing possession, the Wolverines (7-6 Big Ten, 18-8 overall) looked to put the ball in the paint, giving it to senior guard Carmen Reynolds. But her shot was blocked and Michigan had to send someone to the foul line to get one more possession. Junior guard Jenny Ryan unwisely chose Wahlin, an 87-percent free-throw shooter, to shoot the 1-and-1.

The Wolverines got a lucky break.

“I wasn’t too happy when it didn’t go in,” Wahlin said. “Michigan took a timeout, and we went to the bench and my teammates picked me up and said, ‘Hey we got your back, we’re going to get this stop.’”

As the shot clock ran down for Michigan, Iowa (8-6, 17-10) clogged the paint and forced junior guard Nya Jordan to kick the ball out to junior forward Sam Arnold. Arnold launched a 3-pointer, and the Hawkeyes — as they had done 27 times before — pulled down the defensive rebound.

Wahlin’s teammates got their stop, and Iowa got the win, 58-57.

Arnold’s shot may not have been ideal for the Wolverines, but they had no other options. Iowa’s defense didn’t give up any opportunities in the paint, and Arnold was open at the top of the key.

But Michigan coach Kevin Borseth seemed to think a jumper was the best choice.

“We tried to get around the basket,” he said. “We went down with Carmen (in the previous possession) and didn’t get a foul called, so I didn’t know if I wanted to go under the basket again and put it in the hands of the officials.”

Regardless, it didn’t work out well for the Wolverines. Despite 12-point efforts by Arnold and senior guard Courtney Boylan, the team was unable to maintain the 14-point lead it took into the half.

After shooting at a 46-percent clip in the first half, Michigan was unable to keep up the pace, completing just 21 percent of its shots in the second frame.

But Iowa smelled blood as a result, and it was clearly the better second-half team. Wahlin’s efforts led the Hawkeyes, as she had 11 of her 18 points in the second stanza, and Samantha Logic tallied a double-double. Logic dominated the glass, pulling down 18 of the team’s 48 total rebounds. But while Iowa was limiting Michigan’s offensive possessions, the Hawkeyes were creating second-chance opportunities of their own.

Iowa had 16 points off of 20 offensive boards, and limiting the Wolverine post players was the most significant aspect of the Hawkeyes’ game plan according to Iowa coach Lisa Bluder.

“We told them at halftime, ‘We’re going to win this game with defense and rebounds,’ and that’s exactly what we did in the second half,” she said.

Michigan gets another chance to play the Hawkeyes in the last game of the season in Iowa City. And Borseth knows that the team has to make a case for an NCAA Tournament bid.

“We’ve got to win the last one — that’s the one you want to win,” he said. “Because that’s the one the committee looks at.”

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