Jan. 30, 2010
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ANN ARBOR, Mich. —The Iowa men’s basketball team entered Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor looking for redemption after suffering a difficult 73-45 loss the last time they faced Michigan — last March in the first round of the 2009 Big Ten Tournament.
Instead, the Hawkeyes experienced déjà vu, ending up on the wrong end of a 60-46 final.
“It’s obviously my fault. The preparation was awful. Give them credit. Their focus and our focus were not even remotely close. [Michigan head coach] John [Beilein] had his team prepared and they executed,” said Lickliter.
The Wolverines came out of the gates hot, scoring the first 13 points of the game. Iowa, conversely, was as cold as the late January air and did not record its first point until Eric May drew a shooting foul and converted both of his free throw attempts at the 13:10 mark of the first half.
Michigan built a 17-2 lead as the Iowa offense struggled. The Hawkeyes missed their first 12 field goal attempts and did not a record a field goal until Devan Bawinkel hit a three pointer after 9:26 had elapsed.
“They set the tone that we just had no answer for. They were just way tougher than us in this game,” said Iowa forward Aaron Fuller.
The Wolverines extended their lead to 17 points at one point, before Iowa went on a slight run and trimmed the advantage to 12, trailing 29-17 at the half.
Iowa made 6 of 28 field goals (21-percent) in the first stanza. Conversions and attempts were dispersed equally from within and beyond the arc at an identical 3 of 14.
The Hawkeyes also turned the ball over eight times in the opening period. Michigan actually took worse care of the ball, recording nine first half turnovers.
Fuller committed his third personal foul with 8:06 remaining in the opening period and had to sit out the rest of the half, in which he was held scoreless. Without Fuller, the second-leading Hawkeye rebounder, the Wolverines outboarded the Hawkeyes 21-15 at the break.
Iowa nearly tied their lowest first half scoring output of the season. May prevented that from happening by getting behind the Wolverine defense and driving to the rim for a slam dunk as the Hawkeyes inbounded the ball from half court with only 5.4 seconds remaining before heading to the locker room.
Fuller was back on the court in the second half, and his presence was felt immediately as he scored the first five Iowa points. However, his foul trouble continued. After picking up his fourth personal only 4:27 into the period, Lickliter had to limit his playing time to prevent him from fouling out.
Despite only playing 26 minutes, Fuller led the Hawkeyes in scoring and rebounding with 16 points and eight boards. All of his points came in the second half.
Even with Fuller in the game, the second half was more of the same story. Michigan led the whole game, holding their biggest lead at 21 points. The Wolverines had 22 second-chance points and pulled down 44 rebounds to the Hawkeyes’ 31.
“The pain in these sort of things is excruciating. All you have to look at is this: they missed 37 shots and got 19 of them back. That’s just a choice,” said Lickliter.
“We can’t do anything about this game. We just have to move on and definitely play tougher. This game was not us and it was, quite honestly, embarrassing.”
Sophomore forward Aaron Fuller
Michigan’s Detroit duo of DeShawn Sims and Manny Harris combined for 40 points. Sims recorded a points and rebounds double-double with 20 and 12, respectively. His performance was reminiscent of his last meeting with the Hawkeyes when he dropped 30 points. The inside-outside pair was equally lethal as Harris matched his teammate’s scoring output.
Matt Gatens was limited to five points. In the face of re-aggravating an ankle injury in pre-game warm-ups against Ohio State on Wednesday, he was still able to lead Iowa in assists with four.
May was one of the lone bright spots for the young Hawkeyes, displaying his athleticism in transition on offense and blocking three shots on defense. He scored eight points and grabbed seven rebounds.
“We can’t do anything about this game. We just have to move on and definitely play tougher. This game was not us and it was, quite honestly, embarrassing,” said Fuller.
Iowa returns home to face Illinois at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Wednesday.