The Michigan men’s basketball team went to Iowa City in
need of change. A change in its shooting woes, its ability to hold
a lead, its offense against a zone and its way of holding onto the
basketball.

It got none of the above.

Michigan continued the struggles it has been plagued with all
season in its 69-61 loss to Iowa Saturday at a sold out
Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The 69-61 loss greatly damages the
Wolverines’ (4-6 Big Ten, 13-8 overall) chances of making the
NCAA Tournament as an at-large team. Michigan is now 1-6 on the
road, and sits behind Northwestern and above just Penn State, Ohio
State and Minnesota in the Big Ten standings.

For the second time this week, the Wolverines had a lead going
into halftime only to lose control in the second half. After going
on an 18-5 first-half run to close out the period up 32-28,
Michigan mustered just seven second-half field goals as Iowa (6-5,
13-5) used hot 3-point shooting to go on a 24-9 run, and increase
the lead to as much as 11. The Hawkeyes hit five of their eight
3-point attempts in the second half following a 2-for-12 effort in
the first.

“It was the difference in the ball game and it kind of
took the life out of us,” said Michigan coach Tommy Amaker of
Iowa’s long-range shooting.

Iowa used a tight zone in the second half, and Michigan was
unable to create any good shots, something that has stymied the
Wolverines all season. The Wolverines shot 2-for-10 from beyond the
arc and 7-for-29 overall. Michigan ended up shooting 32 percent
from the field.

The Wolverines cut the lead down to five on a Dion Harris
3-pointer with 2:21 remaining, but they got no closer, as Iowa hit
its free throws down the stretch. Daniel Horton, who continued his
shooting struggles, going 1-for-7 from the field, fouled out with
just over four minutes remaining.

“We are really disappointed in our effort against their
zone Amaker said. “They turned the tables on us, and we
weren’t able to get any rhythm.”

Michigan was also hurt by another barrage of turnovers. The
Wolverines gave up the ball 21 times, with seven players turning
over the ball at least twice.

Michigan had nine turnovers in the game’s first 10
minutes, which allowed Iowa to jump out to an early nine-point
lead. The Wolverines also committed 20 turnovers on Wednesday in
Minnesota’s come-from-behind win.

“Certainly the turnovers killed us,” Amaker said.
“We didn’t value the basketball.”

All of these woes occurred against an Iowa team that failed to
get one field goal from its bench and had four players play more
than 37 minutes. Iowa was also dominated on the glass, as the
Wolverines held a 48-32 rebounding edge and pulled down 18
offensive rebounds. Michigan held a similar advantage in its
earlier road loss to Illinois.

“I thought it was just a gritty performance from our
guys,” Iowa coach Steve Alford said. “I thought they
really hung in there.”

Michigan will now try to get back on track this week as it
begins a four-game homestand on Wednesday against Penn State, the
one team it has beaten on the road this season.

The homestand also includes game against Wisconsin, Michigan
State and Ohio State. The Wolverines are 10-2 at Crisler Arena this
year, with close losses against Indiana and Boston University.

“We have a chance to get home and, hopefully, to regroup
and get better,” Amaker said.

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