Fab 4 Leads Iowa Past No. 19/20 Michigan

McCaffery News Conference Transcript (PDF) | Box Score (PDF) | Boxscore

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The 24th-ranked University of Iowa’s fab four of Luka Garza, Joe Wieskamp, CJ Fredrick, and Ryan Kriener scored all but two of the Hawkeyes’ 90 points in a 90-83 victory over No. 19/20 Michigan — the third top-25 victory — Friday night on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Garza led all scorers with 33 points, making 10-of-18 field goals and 11-of-13 free throws, Fredrick finished with 21 points on 6-of-9 shooting with three 3-pointers, and Wieskamp scored 20 points and grabbed five rebounds.
Kriener was the difference off the bench, scoring 11 points in a three-minute stretch in the first half and finishing with 14 points for the game.  He was 6-for-8 from the floor.  Redshirt sophomore Connor McCaffery had a career-high 13 rebounds and five assists.

“It’s not just me, we have a whole bunch of guys that can score the ball,” said Garza. “We had a bunch of guys step up and we have confidence in all our guys when they shoot the ball that it’s going in.”
After Michigan erased a four-point deficit 68 seconds into the second half, Iowa went to Garza and built a six-point advantage on three occasions.  Iowa led 63-62 with 12:30 remaining before the Wolverines used a 10-2 run to build a 72-65 lead.
The Hawkeyes used a 3-pointer from Fredrick to jumpstart a 10-0 run of their own and a second Fredrick 3 gave Iowa the lead for good at 76-74 with 5:26 to play.

“Joe T. was driving down the right side and I saw him driving,” said Fredrick. “I was yelling trailer, so I knew five steps before I got the ball that I was shooting it.  That’s the mentality.”

Michigan closed the margin to one point with 3:25 remaining before Kriener hit a monster 3 — his only points of the second half — to seize the Hawkeye momentum.

“I thought Kriener’s 3 might have been the biggest shot of the game,” said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery.

Iowa shot 50.9 percent from the field and went 9-of-16 from 3-point range.  The Hawkeyes had a decided advantage at the free throw line, making 27-of-30 attempts (Michigan was 4-of-5), and Iowa had 22 assists on its 27 field goals.
Michigan shot 50 percent from the field and made 11 3-pointers.  Eli Brooks had 25 points to lead four Wolverines in double figures.
Michigan jumped out to a 16-9 lead seven minutes into the game before Iowa exploded with an 18-2 run over a four-minute span.  Kriener beat the shot clock to score off an inbounds to start the spurt and he scored 11 of 15 points during a three-minute stretch.
Wieskamp then caught fire, hitting three consecutive 3-pointers to give the Hawkeyes a 33-22 advantage.  Iowa led 47-43 at the break after shooting 51.7 percent and assisting on 14 of its 15 field goals.

Quoting Coach McCaffery:
“Kriener was spectacular, so it starts with that. In the first half he was the difference in that big run, but it gives you more options of some things we can run on offense.

“It’s good if we’re playing zone to have two big guys out there to contest and rebound in traffic. The thing about it is both those guys can make 3s, can pass and catch. There are times when you want to be smaller, but going big is not a bad way to go for us, especially with those guys.”

In two games against Michigan this season, Garza has accounted for 77 points.  He is the only Division I player with multiple 30-point games against a single opponent this season.  The 77 points are the most by any Big Ten player against a single opponent in regular season conference play over the last 20 seasons.

“Every game I tackle with the same mentality,” said Garza. “I was reading and attacking this entire game, how they were playing me.  At the start they weren’t doubling me, then they came aggressively then I was able to get to the free throw line and stretch it out to my midrange game and 3.”

Of Note…

  • Iowa has won seven of last nine games, dating back to Dec. 9. Tonight was Iowa’s third win over a ranked opponent this season (No.12 Texas Tech; No. 12 Maryland; No. 19 Michigan).
  • Iowa trailed Michigan, 74-68, with 7:44 left in the second half and went on a 10-0 run and never trailed the remainder of the game.
  • Iowa improved to 8-1 at home, winning seven straight contests..
  • Big Ten leading scorer, Luka Garza, scored 33 points, marking the fourth time this season Garza topped 30 points in a game. In two games against the Wolverines this season, Garza totaled 77 points. Garza’s 11 free throws made is a career high.
  • Iowa was a season-best 27-of-30 (.900) from the foul line, making its first 17 attempts.
  • Joe Wieskamp’s consecutive free throw streak was snapped at 25 straight. Wieskamp was 9-of-10 from the charity stripe tonight, making his first nine attempts before missing attempt No. 10. Wieskamp finished tonight’s game with 20 points, topping the 20-point plateau for the fourth time this season.
  • CJ Fredrick also matched a personal best with 21 points.
  • Connor McCaffery did not score, but grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds, to go along with five assists.

Up Next
Iowa remains home Wednesday for its next contest versus Rutgers. Fans are encouraged to wear gold for the annual “Gold Out.” Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. (CT) on Mediacom Court inside Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tickets are available at hawkeyesports.com/tickets.

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