March 5, 2016
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By JAMES ALLAN
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Senior Jarrod Uthoff poured in a game-high 29 points to help the No. 15/16 University of Iowa men’s basketball snap a four-game losing streak with a 71-61 road victory at Michigan on Saturday night at the Crisler Center.
The Hawkeyes finish the regular season with a 21-9 overall and 12-6 Big Ten record — its second consecutive 12-win season. It is the third time in school history Iowa has won 12 league games in back-to-back seasons (1981-82; 1987-88).
Ufhoff’s output came on an 11-for-19 performance from the field, which included four 3-pointers. He also had seven rebounds, four steals, and three blocks. Senior Anthony Clemmons scored 12 points — all in the second half — senior Mike Gesell had 11 assists, and senior Adam Woodbury finished with nine points and 11 rebounds.
“Jarrod was like himself,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “He had great practice days leading up to this game.”
The Hawkeyes shot 45.2 percent, making 28-of-62 field goals and eight 3-pointers. Iowa assisted on 19 assists on its 28 field goals and committed just eight turnovers. Iowa limited the Wolverines to a 35.9 field goal percentage (23-of-64), which included eight 3-pointers, but they came on 34 attempts.
Uthoff looked like his early-season self from the beginning, scoring seven of Iowa’s first 12 points in helping Iowa jump out to a 12-5 lead. A Uthoff 3-pointer — giving him 13 points — gave the Hawkeyes a 22-12 lead with 11:11 left in the first half.
“Our defensive intensity at the start was critical,” said UI head coach Fran McCaffery. “When you go on the road and play a team that has a lot of offensive weapons, you have to get into them. The defense propelled our offense.
“We were getting stops and got comfortable scoring the ball. We kept the lead; that was good.”
Michigan closed the gap to 24-23 with 6:51 left before Uthoff hit a 3-pointer to push the lead to 27-23. Iowa took a 36-30 advantage into the half.
Iowa pushed its lead to double figures four minutes into the second half before taking control. The Hawkeyes extended their lead to 11 on a Gesell dunk with 13:02 to play before it moved to 15 (59-44) with 10:13 left.
Michigan didn’t roll over.
The Wolverines scored 10 straight points to cut the lead to 59-54 with 6:13 to play. Gesell ended the drought with a steal and jumper and Clemmons answered a Derrick Walton, Jr., jumper with a 3-pointer from the corner to extend the lead to 64-56.
“We needed to score,” said McCaffery. “It went from 13 to five quickly, and we needed to get that third possession lead. That shot was huge.”
Walton, Jr., led the Wolverines with 14 points and six assists. Zak Irvin scored 11 and had eight rebounds.
Iowa heads to Indianapolis for the 2016 Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The bracket will be released Sunday after the completion of the regular season.