Remember when you were a kid playing a sports game on Nintendo? If you were losing with two minutes to go, a simple press of a button solved all your problems.
Unfortunately for Michigan women’s basketball coach Sue Guevara, there’s no “reset” button in real life.
So far, Guevara has tried to hit the reset button twice this season, telling her team that it was starting over at 0-0, first after its 0-2 Big Ten start and again on Sunday following the first half of the conference season.
Last night at Crisler Arena, Iowa sent the Wolverines (2-7 Big Ten, 11-9 overall) to an 0-1 start in their third season with an easy 65-57 victory – the fourth straight loss for Michigan.
Coming out of the lockerroom at halftime down by seven, the Wolverines needed to pick up their defensive intensity and look to make a run. But a determined Iowa team came out with a fire underneath it, going on a 15-2 run to open up a 20-point lead in the first five minutes of the second half.
“It was really nice to see we were getting steals and converting them into fastbreak layups,” Iowa coach Lisa Bruder said. “That’s when we really got our lead. (We) converted some 3-point plays too, which is nice for us to build that lead in the beginning of the second half.”
Michigan made a charge to cut the deficit back down to seven midway through the half, following two buckets from freshman Niki Reams and a driving layup by sophomore Tabitha Pool. But this was as close as the Wolverines would get, as turnovers and fouls killed them down the stretch.
“The foul trouble got us out of (the game),” Guevara said. “The high-low was working, and we were able to establish the inside game, which we wanted to, and then we got into foul trouble and had to make some substitutions. We went on a little bit of a drought.”
Limited by fouls in the second half, senior LeeAnn Bies scored just two points, finishing the game with 13.
Iowa (4-5, 12-8) was led by All-Big Ten candidate Jennie Lillis, who finished with 18 points and eight boards. The Hawkeyes converted on 4-of-5 free throw attempts in the last two minutes to seal the game.
Coming off a disappointing six-point, four-rebound performance at Wisconsin on Sunday, Bies opened the game determined to make a difference. Bies blew up for 11 points in the first seven minutes of the game, aggressively charging to the hoop on every touch.
But after she picked up her second foul, Bies was forced to sit with 9:08 to go in the half. By halftime, all of Michigan’s inside forces were in foul trouble – junior Jennifer Smith and senior Raina Goodlow had three apiece – and joined Bies on the bench.