By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Michigan rode a big first half to hand the University of Iowa men’s basketball team a 75-68 loss Tuesday night on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Wolverines missed their final four shots of the first half and still shot 62.1 percent from the floor. Eight of Michigan’s 18 field goals came from 3-point range, allowing the Wolverines to push their first-half lead to as many as 18 points. Iowa trailed 48-36 at the break.
The Hawkeyes led 10-7 at the 14:07 mark before the Wolverines caught fire. Michigan went on a 22-4 run, hitting four 3-pointers and using a Zavier Simpson three-point play to build a 15-point lead.
“I don’t think our energy or effort was there early and that affected multiple parts of the game offensively and defensively,” said sophomore Tyler Cook, who led all scorers with 28 points. “As a unit our mindset wasn’t there to take the game, we were out there trying to play it. That’s why we were down 12 in the first half.”
Iowa regrouped and trimmed the lead to 48-41 on a Cook three-point play 2 1/2 minutes into the second half before Michigan followed with an 11-2 run to push the advantage back to 16.
Iowa again cut the lead to single digits a courtesy of a Maishe Dailey 3-pointer and a driving left-handed layup, and Cook answered an Isaiah Divers 3-pointer with back-to-back field goals to make the score 62-54.
Michigan called a timeout before putting the game away with a 9-0 spurt, seven coming from Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman to make it a 17-point lead. Iowa fought to within seven twice in the closing minute before running out of time.
“We made a run in the second half, but we couldn’t get over that hump,” said Cook. “We were down as much as 18, when you get into that hole against a good team like Michigan it’s going to be hard to come back.”
Michigan shot 35.7 percent in the second half and 49.1 percent for the game. The Wolverines made 11-of-25 3-pointers.
Iowa finished with a 48.1 field goal percentage but went 6-of-15 from 3-point range. Iowa out-rebounded Michigan, 31-30, but only seven came on the offensive glass.
QUOTING COACH FRAN MCCAFFERY
On first-half struggles
“Our offense was sputtering. We had consecutive misses and we weren’t moving the ball. It was go ahead TC (Cook), go score. He was terrific, but we have to make sure we can play off of him more. We had a ton of misses and were scrambling a lot (defensively) as a result of our poor offense.”
On second half
“The defense was better in the second half, we fought harder, but we didn’t play particularly well, and still had a chance to win. I am proud of that, but we have to play better at both ends of the floor, it’s not just defense.”
COOK TAKES OVER
Cook was a handful for the Wolverines, making 10-of-15 field goals and 8-of-11 free throws en route to his 28-point performance. It was his fourth game with 20 or more points this season.
“I wanted to affect the game offensively,” said Cook. “That was my mindset coming out of the gate. I was trying to be sure I was aggressive in every way possible, taking the jumper and looking for guys.”
Cook also led all players with eight rebounds in 34 minutes.
“Tyler Cook is an extraordinary talent,” said Michigan head coach John Beilein. “We thought the key was, Tyler may get points, but (Jordan) Bohannon was the key. He shot the ball well, but Zavier did a great job on him.”
Bohannon made four 3-pointers, finishing with 12 points. He was the only other Hawkeye in double figures.
- The Wolverines had four players reach double figures with Adbur-Rhkman and Simpson leading the way with 15 points apiece. Simpson averaged 4.5 points heading into the game.
- Michigan’s reserves out-scored its Iowa counterparts, 37-17.
- The Wolverines scored 18 points off Iowa’s 13 turnovers.
- Records: Michigan (13-3, 2-1); Iowa (9-7, 0-3)
Iowa returns to action Thursday, hosting Ohio State at 6 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court.