By JAMES ALLAN
IOWA CITY, Iowa — Check this one in the significant win column.
The 25th-ranked University of Iowa men’s basketball team posted a convincing, 74-59 victory over No. 5 Michigan in front of a sellout crowd of 15,056 on Friday night inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The victory — Iowa’s 17th of the year — snapped Iowa’s two-game losing streak and the win elicited a court storming on Mediacom Court. It was just Michigan’s second loss of the season.
“This was a big game because we had dropped two in row,” said junior Ryan Kriener, who posted career-highs in points and rebounds. “Michigan State, we thought we had them, but we didn’t. We had the bad run and everyone was saying last-year’s team, last year’s team.
“Then we go to Minnesota and we had a bad game defensively and everyone’s saying last year’s team, last year’s team. When everyone was saying that, that’s when we locked in, we committed to defense in the offseason; we got back to that mindset.”
Kriener posted his first career double-double, finishing with 15 points — 11 in the first half with sophomore Luka Garza in foul trouble — and 10 rebounds. Garza picked it up in half No. 2, scoring 15 of his team-high 19 points. Garza made 8-of-12 field goals and finished with eight rebounds in 21 minutes.
“I was sitting on the bench for 13 minutes, so when I got back out there my mindset was to do whatever I can to help my team,” said Garza. “Ryan did a terrific job of stepping up and being that guy. He was scoring, rebounding and defending.
“I knew once I came back in I was going to be effective. I was confident that I went to my moves and it worked out.”
Freshman Joe Wieskamp was the third Hawkeye in double figures, finishing with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting and grabbing seven rebounds in 33 minutes.
After weathering a hot start by the Wolverines, the Hawkeyes took control in the late stages of the second half, using a 21-2 run to turn a five-point deficit into a 30-19 lead.
The Hawkeyes led 42-29 at the break after shooting 48.4 percent and holding a 22-8 advantage in points in the paint. The 42 points were the most Michigan has surrendered in a half this season.
A Jordan Bohannon 3-pointer stretched Iowa’s lead to 15 points early in the second half before Michigan made its run. The Wolverines cut the deficit to 54-49 following an Isaiah Livers 3-pointer and a Jon Teske tip-in with 9:31 to play.
“They made their run and our mindset as a team when another team makes their run is now it’s time for ours,” said Garza. “We were able to stop their run and come back at them.”
Garza followed with a layup and 3-pointer in a span of 35 seconds to push the lead to 59-49 and the Hawkeyes cruised to their fourth victory over a ranked opponent this season.
“I saw it from film, and I saw it coming last year,” said Michigan head coach John Beilein. “I can see why they’re 17-5. I was laughing at people, who going into this year were saying they weren’t being ranked as one of the top teams in the league. I said, ‘Are you kidding me?’
“Iowa’s a really good team. We got beat by a really good team. They’re much better than us.”
The Hawkeyes shot 45.2 percent from the field in the game and made six 3-pointers. Iowa had a 40-20 advantage in points in the paint, and the Hawkeye bench outscored their Wolverine counterparts, 24-3.
QUOTING HEAD COACH FRAN MCCAFFERY
“When you beat the fifth-ranked team, that’s really good. It’s good for our team, our program, and moving forward. But it makes the next game bigger. We can enjoy this for a very short period of time, go back to work, get ready for the next one.”
DEFENSE DOES IT
Iowa’s mix-and-matching of its defense forced the Wolverines into an off night from the field. Michigan shot 32.3 percent for the game and made just 8-of-33 3-point attempts.
“We felt we needed to mix up defenses, which we did well,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. “The zone, press, and man-to-man were all good. We thought we were going to need our bench and our bench was terrific. That’s what you need if you’re going to beat Michigan.”
The Hawkeyes dominated on the glass, 48-36, allowing the Wolverines just six offensive rebounds.
“If you’re playing Michigan, you can’t give them second, third, fourth opportunities,” said McCaffery. “They’re a good offensive rebounding team. They have broken-play 3s, throw it back out, hit one. That was critical.”
HEY THAT’S MY JERSEY
Amidst the storming of Mediacom Court was Austin Ash dancing, CJ Fredrick getting a view of the activity from Kriener’s shoulders at midcourt, and fans trying to get the ultimate souvenir.
“It was something I’ll remember for the rest of my life, that was fun,” said Bohannon. “I had a dude pulling the back of my jersey and a guy taking my jersey… I felt like a puppet out there. I had to get out of there early because it was a little chaotic, but it was a lot of fun.”
- Iowa has recorded four wins over nationally ranked opponents — No. 13 Oregon; No. 16 Ohio State; No. 24 Nebraska, No. 5 Michigan.
- Iowa’s 74 points are the most No. 5 Michigan has allowed in Big Ten play this season and the second most this season (78 vs. South Carolina).
- Wieskamp (16 points) has scored in double figures in 12 of Iowa’s 14 home games this season.
- Tonight’s win ties Fran McCaffery with Lute Olson for second on Iowa’s all-time win chart (168).
ON THE HORIZON
The Hawkeyes return to action Thursday, traveling to Bloomington, Indiana, for an 8 p.m. (CT) matchup against Indiana inside Assembly Hall.