The Hawkeyes picked up right where they left off yesterday by shooting a tad over 55% in the first half (they shot 56.3% from the field against Illinois). Michigan had their usual trouble with fouls and, shockingly, struggled from beyond the arc as well. Junior F Mo Wagner had to exit the game after just 2:20 played due to picking up an early foul and senior F Muhammad Ali Abdur-Rahkman rode the bench for the last 8:10 of the first half. This, in tandem with the Wolverines going 0-7 from deep gave Iowa a 40-35 lead going into the break. Sophomore F Ryan Kriener led the way for the Hawkeyes with 7 points on 3-4 shooting and Jordan Bohannon, Tyler Cook, and Isaiah Moss each chipped in 6 points apiece. Freshman F Isaiah Livers and junior F Charles Matthews each had a team-high 7 points in the first half for Michigan.
The second half was more of the same for Michigan, though Iowa struggled shooting the ball. The Maize and Blue opened the half on a 11-0 run and did not trail for the rest of the half. It took the Wolverines until 9:32 remaining in the game to finally drain their first three-pointer which came courtesy of senior G Duncan Robinson.
Despite finally being able to drain a few shots from long range, Michigan still struggled with fouls, committing five in the first 3:20 of the half. Abdur-Rahkman and Wagner only played 10 and 7 minutes, respectively, in the second half due to foul trouble, and Wagner picked up his fifth foul with 5:32 remaining in regulation. Wagner finished with 11 points and 3 boards in just 16 minutes, tied for the least amount of time he has seen in any game this season.
Said coach John Beilein of Michigan’s foul trouble: “We haven't had that all year long. We haven't had three guys in foul trouble in the first half, and our situation in the second half, with guys fouling out. There were some tough breaks. And, yeah, we just had to try and find ways.”
After their excellent shooting performance in the first half, Iowa shot 37% from the field in the second half including just 2-10 from three. Jordan Bohannon made just one shot in the second half but it was his most important shot by far; his three with just 16 seconds remaining tied the game for the first time since Michigan took the lead. The score was tied 67-67 at the end of regulation.
In overtime, Iowa drew first blood when Luka Garza hit a layup to put Iowa up 69-67. It took Michigan two trips to the line, but they tied it up 69-69 with just under three minutes remaining in the overtime period. Abdur-Rahkman then fouled out of the game with 2:33 remaining and sent Luka Garza to the line. Abdur-Rahkman, who was second in the Big Ten in minutes per game (35.1), played a season-low 22 minutes in the contest against Iowa (his lowest total prior to the Iowa game was 24 minutes in a 50-point blowout of Alabama A&M). Garza hit one of his two free throws to put the Hawkeyes up by one.
Duncan Robinson shortly thereafter erased the Iowa lead with a bucket from long distance to put the Wolverines up 72-70. They would go on to win by a score of 77-71.
Robinson downplayed his role in his clutch OT three pointer in the postgame presser. “Yeah, it was a great play called by Coach B and X. It's a good screen by Jon and a good pass by Charles, I think, Charles. And it all stems from my teammates and coaches, giving me confidence to step in and take that shot in the first place, and today fortunately enough I was able to make it.”
Free throw shooting continues to be the bane of Michigan’s existence. The team went 2-5 from the charity stripe in the second half and 7-14 in overtime. As a whole, the Wolverines were 18-32 from the line for the game. If Michigan wants to make a run in the Big Ten Tournament or in March, they are going to need to figure out how to shoot free throws.
Charles Matthews, F, Michigan (16 points, 8 rebounds, 5-10 FG)
Duncan Robinson, G, Michigan (11 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, 3-6 3FG)
Jordan Bohannon, G, Iowa (11 points, 6 assists)
Ryan Kreiner, F, Iowa (14 points, 4 rebounds, 6-7 FG)