By JAMES ALLAN
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan used big first and third quarters to snap the No. 13/12 University of Iowa women’s basketball team’s five-game winning streak with a 90-81 victory Friday morning at the Crisler Center.
The loss drops the Hawkeyes’ record to 16-5 overall, 7-3 in Big Ten play.
“We were not in any flow right from the beginning in this game,” said Iowa head coach Lisa Bluder. “Michigan came out extremely hot, kids that usually don’t hit 3s were hitting 3s, and they scored on eight of their first 10 possessions.
“I felt like we were playing catch-up the entire day, which can be wearing.”
The Wolverines controlled the action on the glass, out-rebounding Iowa, 44-23. Twenty-four of those rebounds came on the offensive end, giving Michigan 14 more field goal attempts in the game.
“(Michigan) did a great job rebounding, they got 60 percent of the offensive rebounds,” said Bluder. “They shot the ball 71 times to our 57. It’s hard to win any game when somebody is shooting that many more times than you do.
“They had 21 more rebounds and two less turnovers. That becomes the game.”
The Hawkeyes finished with a higher field goal percentage (54.4 percent to 47.9 percent), but couldn’t overcome the rebounding deficit. The Wolverines made two more 3-point field goals (6 to 4) and made one more free throw (16 to 15).
The Wolverines built a first quarter lead after shooting 64.7 percent from the field and making 4-of-5 3-point field goals. Michigan’s lead was 26-15 at the end of the quarter when Akienreh Johnson hit a buzzer beater, pushing the lead to double digits.
After falling behind 29-17, the Hawkeyes got going with an 11-0 run, fueled by 3-pointers from Kathleen Doyle and Tania Davis, to give Iowa its first lead at the 5:03 mark in the second quarter. Michigan led 39-36 at the break.
The Hawkeyes kept pace in the third quarter before Michigan used a 14-4 run over the final five minutes to build its lead to a game-high 14 points at 68-54. Iowa trailed 68-57 when Davis beat the buzzer to give the Hawkeyes momentum heading into the final 10 minutes.
Iowa made its run early in the fourth quarter, as two Megan Gustafson field goals and a Doyle jumper cut the lead to 74-68 with 7:19 left. Second-chance opportunities saw Michigan push its lead back to 10 with 6:29 to play and Iowa didn’t get closer than eight the rest of the way.
Gustafson led Iowa with 27 points, making 11-of-14 field goals to go along with nine rebounds. Doyle finished with 22 points on 9-of-13 shooting, while Davis scored 15 to go along with four assists.
The Wolverines got career-highs from Johnson and Deja Church, both finishing with 19 points. Four Michigan players reached double figures.
QUOTING HEAD COACH LISA BLUDER
“A team that averages 67 points scored 90 on us. It didn’t matter what defense we were in, they were ready for it and attacked it. We had a difficult time boxing out and containing the drive.”
STAT OF THE GAME
Michigan finished with 24 offensive rebounds and 20 defensive rebounds to win the rebounding battle by 21. Seven different Wolverines had at least one offensive rebound, leading to a 25-10 advantage in second-chance points.
The Hawkeyes return to action Sunday, traveling to University Park, Pennsylvania, for a 1 p.m. (CT) matchup against Penn State.
“This team is similar (to Michigan) except Penn State is quicker and they rebound like this,” said Bluder. “We’re going to have our work cut out for us because we’ve given people a game plan on what to do.
“It’s going to be a tough challenge, but hopefully we can gather the troops and get them ready to go again.”