The potion Michigan used to win its first four Big Ten road game’s is missing in action.
Iowa shut down Michigan’s offense, crushed the Wolverines on the glass, and coasted to an 85-67 victory in Iowa City Saturday afternoon (Feb. 8).
The loss was the second straight on the road for a No.10 Michigan team that struggled at Indiana a week ago.
“We ran into a buzz saw today,” said Michigan head coach John Beilein at he post-game press conference.. “This is the way they were playing so much for the first semester. They punched us early, and it was hard to respond.”
Ohio State is next
The Wolverines (17-6, 9-2) better find some of that early magic, since next on the schedule is a trip to Columbus Tuesday (Feb. 11) to face the Buckeyes.
Like Indiana, the Hawkeyes’ game plan was to take Michigan’s leading scorer Nik Stauskas (17.3 points per game) out of his comfort level and they did it to perfection. Stauskas, who also leads Michigan with 3.9 assists per game, was held to 10 points without a single assist.
Perhaps even more disturbing was the production from Glenn Robinson III. The 6-6 Michigan sophomore opened the scoring with a statement-like dunk but never scored again.
Ten minutes into the game Michigan had yet to get into the flow. The Wolverines were either settling for long threes or trying to create offense by playing one-on-one. At that point, starters Stauskas, Walton, and Morgan had a total of zero points.
On the other end of the floor, Iowa’s Roy Devyn Marble couldn’t miss, scoring the Hawkeyes first nine points and 22 of his game-high 26 by halftime.
“I wanted to come out and be aggressive,” said Marble. “I was upset with the performance individually and as a team against Ohio State and the lack of energy was unacceptable. I told the guys we were going to come out and play hard. If we win, we win, if we lose, we lose, but you won’t be able to doubt our toughness and energy on both ends of the court.”
Roy Devyn Marble welcomes Michigan
Marble’s hot first half gave the Hawkeyes a 14-point lead, and the second half was mainly garbage time.
Iowa (18-6, 7-4) also controlled the glass, holding a 38-29 advantage that seemed much worse. Michigan hit only 22 of 52 field goals (42.3 %)
Another disturbing statistic was Michigan’s lack of post defense. Iowa had 34 points in the paint compared to Michigan’s 18.
News of 6-10 Michigan center Mitch McGary beginning light workouts sounds very encouraging.
Caris LeVert, who at times took the offense into his own hands, scored 22 points, sixth-man Zak Irvin notched 19, and Derrick Walton, Jr. dished out six assists.
Iowa has the week off before playing at Penn State next Saturday (Feb. 15). ♦
Big Ten Standings
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Written by GBMWolverine Staff — Joel Greer