Jan. 7, 2016
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By DARREN MILLER
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — University of Iowa post players Chase Coley and Megan Gustafson combined for 32 points Thursday in front of 1,889 at the Crisler Center, but the No. 23 Hawkeyes slumped late and lost to Michigan, 82-75.
It is the first league loss for Iowa (12-3 overall, 2-1 Big Ten), which led by 17 points (51-34) early in the third quarter. It is the first league win for the Wolverines (9-5, 1-2), who scored 30 points in the fourth quarter.
UI head coach Lisa Bluder was puzzled that the Hawkeyes passed up passes to the post in favor of shots from distance. Coley, a sophomore, scored 18 points and made 7-of-10 field goals; Gustafson, a freshman, scored 14 points and made 5-of-6 field goals.
“We have posts shooting the ball well and we are taking way too many 3s when our posts are shooting the ball so very well,” Bluder said. “They did a great job inside, but for some reason we quit going to them.”
Coley and Gustafson were both 4-of-4 from the free throw line, but neither had an offensive rebound.
“They have to get in there and get offensive rebounds for us, that’s part of their responsibility,” Bluder said.
Michigan held a 20-6 advantage in second-chance points and a 46-38 edge in paint points. Iowa committed 17 turnovers that the Wolverines turned into 26 points.
“That’s not only points for them, it’s taking points away from us,” Bluder said. “We had way too many turnovers.”
UI junior Ally Disterhoft scored 14 points with five rebounds, and three assists. She was 5-of-9 from the field, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range. Junior Alexa Kastanek added nine points with four assists and team-highs in rebounds (seven) and 3-pointers (three). Sophomore Whitney Jennings handed out six assists.
The Hawkeyes shot 46 percent from the field (28-of-61) and 91 percent from the line (10-of-11). They were 9-of-25 from 3-point, the most since making 10 at Virginia on Dec. 2.
Iowa led by 10 points at the start of the fourth quarter and extended that to 12 when Coley converted a layup off an assist from Kastanek with 9:15 remaining. But Michigan scored 30 points over the final 10 minutes to complete the comeback.
“I give Michigan a lot of credit, they kept fighting,” Bluder said. “When you’re down 17, it takes a lot to battle back.”
Katelynn Flaherty scored a game-high 24 points for the Wolverines. Teammate Kelsey Mitchell added 15 points and 11 rebounds.
The Hawkeyes will put their 25-game home winning streak on the line Sunday when they face No. 8 Maryland (13-2, 2-1). The Terrapins defeated Nebraska, 89-50, on Thursday.
“This is going to be a real battle for sure,” Bluder said. “We could have taken the positive energy and great momentum from a win tonight, but we let that go away. It’s going to be hard getting up for practice (Friday), but we’re going to have to find a way.”
Game time Sunday is 2 p.m. (CT).