Michigan wasn’t ready to end the regular season just yet. Maybe it was the emotion of senior night, but 40 minutes wasn’t enough for the Michigan basketball team to determine the outcome against Iowa on Saturday.

Down by three with under three minutes to go, junior Graham Brown put the Wolverines on his back. He scored on three consecutive possessions to give Michigan a two-point lead with just over a minute to go. Then, Iowa’s Adam Haluska hit a jumper with 30 seconds to go, sending Michigan to its second overtime game of the season.

The key play in overtime came after Brown pulled Michigan within two with 39 seconds left. Iowa guard Jeff Horner dribbled the ball up the court, and sophomore Dion Harris attempted to tie up the ball and force a turnover. Michigan coach Tommy Amaker believed it should have been a 10-second violation or at least a jump ball, but the official gave a timeout to Iowa. On the ensuing inbounds play, Horner hit both free throws to put Iowa up by four with 21 seconds left.

“I’m not sure (why it wasn’t a 10-second violation),” Amaker said. “I don’t think they saw it. It could have been a missed call.”

Michigan (4-12 Big Ten, 13-17 overall) couldn’t overcome the deficit, and lost 74-72 to wrap up the regular season. The Wolverines have lost 11 of their last 12 games and now need to win the Big Ten Tournament to secure a postseason berth. This was a dramatic reversal from the last time Michigan faced Iowa, when the Wolverines upset the Hawkeyes (7-9, 19-10) in Iowa City and Iowa was ranked in the top-25.

Harris and sophomore Brent Petway both achieved career-highs in points, with 25 and 16, respectively. Brown and freshman Ron Coleman also chipped in double digits in points with 12 and 10, respectively. But Iowa was able to take advantage of Michigan’s frontcourt all afternoon. Iowa forward Greg Brunner outmuscled Petway on Iowa’s end, as he scored 24 points and was able to draw fouls against Michigan’s forwards and attempt 15 free throws.

“Our team, we go to whoever is playing well. Today it happened to be me,” Brunner said. “(Horner) and the other guys did a great job hitting me in the post. That’s why I like this team, whoever is hot we get them the ball.”

Petway was more effective on the other end of the floor, playing perhaps his best offensive game of his career. Not only did he score a career high in points, but also he managed to score all 16 points without a single dunk. As the season has progressed, Petway has developed an increasingly effective jump shot and gives Michigan a new threat on the offensive end.

He also grabbed six offensive rebounds, part of his 10 total boards on the day. In addition, he also went to the free throw line five times to complete two 3-point plays.

“(Petway) was very active and we needed that from him,” Amaker said. “His energy and aggressiveness helped him take the open jump shot. I’m impressed that he has improved his foul shooting.”

Harris balanced his scoring between the halves, paced by his six 3-pointers. His performance caps his fourth 20-point effort in the past seven games. Harris has often gone up against double-teams since the suspension of Horton earlier this season, and has had to carry the team himself.

“I just have to go out there and get us wins,” Harris said. “I play the point guard position and I have to run this team. The stuff I’ve been through this season will make me a better leader.”

Saturday’s game was also the last game at Crisler Arena for seniors J.C Mathis and Dani Wohl. Both played emotional games and made key plays throughout the game. Wohl did a good job distributing the ball and dishing out six assists to just one turnover. Mathis finished with just two points, but scored on an inspiring put-back dunk late in the second half.

Both Wohl and Mathis were transfers to Michigan and were humbled after the game for the opportunity to play at Michigan.

“I have a lot of good memories on and off the court,” Mathis said. “There were a lot of emotions going through my mind out there today. It was very emotional.”

Michigan now heads to Chicago for the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday as the No. 9 seed. The Wolverines will face Northwestern in the first round, who they split the season series with both teams defending their home courts. The winner of the game will face No. 1 Illinois on Friday.

 

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