Extra Session Favors Wolverines, 80-78

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Feb. 16, 2010

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By Richie Zawistowski

IOWA CITY, Iowa — A career night from Aaron Fuller and an extra period were not enough for the University of Iowa to put away Michigan, falling, 80-78, Tuesday inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

Fuller had a superb game both offensively and defensively, as his 30 points and 13 rebounds were both career-highs.

“He’s good isn’t he?” said UI head coach Todd Lickliter. “He was really good tonight. The sad thing is, you got guys playing really well, and you don’t get the win.”

Michigan improves to 13-12 overall, 6-7 in the Big Ten Conference; the Hawkeyes are 9-18, 3-11.

Matt Gatens and Cully Payne also chipped in 21 and 13 points respectively, with Payne leading the game with seven assists.

It was a close game all around, as the game featured 14 lead-changes and 10 ties, Iowa out-rebounding Michigan by one, and both teams hitting 12-of-16 from the charity stripe.

Iowa shot 46.7-percent from the field (28-of-60) and held Michigan to 43.5-percent (27-of-62)

Fuller started out on fire as he scored Iowa’s first eight points of the contest before Payne jumped into the mix, hitting a three for an 11-10 lead six minutes into the game.

Michigan would answer with an 10-0 run that included a pair of three’s by Manny Harris and Zack Novak to go up 20-11 with 10:37 left in the half, forcing Lickliter to call timeout.

Iowa would get into the three-point game, with Gatens and Eric May hitting consecutive bombs to cut the deficit to three, 20-17 with 8:57 left in the half.

“He’s good isn’t he? He was really good tonight. The sad thing is, you got guys playing really well, and you don’t get the win.”
UI head coach Todd Lickliter on Aaron Fuller

Again, Michigan would answer with the three-ball and a 9-2 run that consisted of all three-pointers, putting Michigan ahead 29-19 with 7:29 remaining.

Iowa closed the half on a 14-4 run, including two free throws by Fuller at the end of the half after he was fouled at the buzzer on an offensive rebound from a Payne miss. He converted both of his free throws to tie the game at 33 going into the half.

Cole started the second half for Iowa with a drive to the basket for two, off the assist from Payne, tying the game at 35, just into the half.

May showcased his defensive abilities with an unbelievable swat from behind sending the ball out of bounds, getting the crowd off its feet.

Gatens had a good looking play, as he drove baseline and drew the defense before kicking out to a wide open Payne, who buried the three to make the score 49-48 Iowa with 10:30 left.

Gatens then had great defense forced Michigan into a bad pass that was intercepted, and Gatens made the most of the turnover hitting a three on the other end of the floor to make it 52-51 Iowa with 9:36 left. Iowa would get out in transition off a missed three by Michigan, which resulted in a layup by May, stretching the lead to 57-52 with 5:29 remaining.

Harris answered for Michigan with a pull-up jumper from the free throw line, and then snapped the net with a deep three to cut the Iowa lead to one, 58-57.

Cole had a reverse layup after a nice feed from Payne set him up, put Iowa up by 3 60-57, with 3:25 remaining.

May drove baseline and missed on the pull-up, but Gatens was right there with the loose ball to give the Hawkeyes another chance. Fuller would rise to the opportunity, driving hard to the basket, and drawing the foul with 1:29 left.

“You deal with percentages. You figure under 10 seconds you foul, over 10 seconds you don’t foul. But when a team shoots 3’s like they do, knowing what I know now, we should have fouled them. But then maybe they miss, and get a tip in or something, you never know.”
UI head coach
Todd Lickliter

Fuller would split his free-throws, giving Iowa a four point lead, 61-57 with 1:29 left. However Iowa would foul Michigan under the basket with the shot going in, giving Michigan a three point play, cutting the lead to one.

Gatens would answer for Iowa with a strong drive and a kiss off the glass, giving Iowa a three point lead again, 63-60 with 46 seconds left to go.

Tough defense would force Michigan’s next shot to rim out, and Iowa would grab the rebound with 22.4 seconds left. Fuller calmly cashed both of his free throws to make it a five point game, 65-60 with just 22 seconds left on the clock. Iowa would commit the ultimate defensive sin again and foul Michigan in the act of shooting, allowing the Wolverines to make it a three point play, and cut the lead to two with 15 seconds left.

“In fairness to Devan, he thought he fouled him on the floor,” said Lickliter. “He knew he was in a tough spot, he wanted to send him to the line, instead of just letting him lay it in.”

Michigan would foul Payne on the inbounds pass, and he would split his free throws to make it 66-63 Iowa with 13.4 seconds left.

Instead of fouling, Iowa opted to let Michigan shoot the ball to tie it, and tie it they did. DeShawn Sims drained a three from the top of the key to tie the game at 66 with just four seconds left.

“You deal with percentages,” said Lickliter. “You figure under 10 seconds you foul, over 10 seconds you don’t foul. But when a team shoots 3’s like they do, knowing what I know now, we should have fouled them. But then maybe they miss, and get a tip in or something, you never know.”

Iowa raced down the court to get a last second shot off, but Fuller faced a lot of contact, and his shot was heavily contested under the basket at the buzzer and fell short, sending the game into overtime.

“The refs try to call a fair game, and that’s just the way it goes, you have to earn your respect in this league,” said Gatens. Michigan’s Harris would hit a three to start overtime, but Fuller would answer for Iowa, scoring three points the old fashioned way, tying the game at 69, one minute into the extra-period.

The next time down, Fuller would again drive strong, spinning in traffic, and drawing the foul, this time splitting his free throws, putting Iowa up by one, 70-69.

Next, Gatens hit a tough fade-away jumper from 15-feet out to give Iowa a three point lead, 72-69 with 3:25 left in overtime.

Michigan would rattle off eight straight points, capped by Lucas-Perry’s free-throws, giving Michigan a 77-72 lead with 31 seconds remaining in overtime.

May would get Iowa back in the game with a converted “and-one” opportunity after he was fouled under the basket, cutting the deficit to two, 77-75 with 17 seconds left.

Iowa would foul, and Harris would split his free throws, giving Iowa the ball back, down 3, 78-75.

Iowa chose for the quick two, instead of the three point basket, but Gatens missed the contested layup, giving Michigan the ball back. Michigan would hit both of their free throws, and although Payne would hit a three pointer at the buzzer, the damage had already been done.

The Hawkeyes have nine days off before traveling to Evanston, Ill., to play Northwestern on Feb. 25.