IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team earned its biggest win of the young season Wednesday night (Jan. 5), upsetting No. 14 Iowa 65-63 in its Big Ten Conference opener at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Junior Daniel Horton (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill HS) came back after missing six games with a sprained knee and scored nine of his 13 points in the first half to guide the Wolverines (9-5, 1-0 Big Ten) to a 44-30 lead at the break. The Hawkeyes (12-2, 0-1 Big Ten) used a 12-5 run to tie the game at 59-59 with under two minutes to play, but junior/sophomore John Andrews' (West Bloomfield, Mich./Orchard Laks St. Mary's) four straight free throws proved to be the deciding factor, as Pierre Pierce failed to tie the game from the line with two seconds to play.
Sophomore Brent Petway (McDonough, Ga./Griffin HS) led a quartet of U-M double-digit scorers with a career-high 14 points to go along with seven rebounds and four blocks. Sophomore Courtney Sims (Roslindale, Mass./Noble & Greenough School) posted his third double-double of the season with 10 points and a season-high 13 rebonds. Rounding out the top performers was sophomore Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS), who finished with 12 points, including three triples, and four assists. Pierce led the Hawkeyes in the losing effort with a game-high 15 points.
The rim was unkind to the Wolverines in the early going, as U-M failed to convert on its first six attempts from the field. Michigan did not get on the board until 16:19, when freshman Ron Coleman (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS) connected on a triple from the wing to tie the game at 3-3. The Hawkeyes also had difficulty finding their touch on offense, knocking down just one of their first seven shots. Another three-pointer by Coleman from the opposite side put the Wolverines ahead 6-5 heading into the first media timeout at 15:42.
Both teams started to heat up over the next five minutes, with Harris leading the Michigan charge with a pair of triples and Petway collecting his first points of the game on a short jumper. With the Wolverines holding a 16-13 advantage with 11:50 left in the first half, Horton entered the game and made an immediate impact by hitting a long jumper on his first touch to push the lead to five points. Iowa responded with five unanswered points to knot the score at 18-18, but senior/junior J.C. Mathis (Brooklyn, N.Y./John F. Kennedy HS) put U-M in the lead once again with a layup in traffic.
Mathis' bucket was the start of a 9-2 scoring run over the next three minutes. Harris drilled another three-pointer during the run, and Sims and Petway followed with a pair of baskets in the post to push the U-M lead to 27-20 with 6:45 remaining until halftime. The Wolverines continued to go down low after an Iowa timeout, as Sims and Petway were also responsible for the next four points to increase the lead to 31-22.
Michigan then punished the Hawkeyes from the perimeter, with Horton draining back-to-back three-pointers, including one while being fouled, to provide the Wolverines with a 38-28 advantage with 3:24 left until the break. U-M continued its attack in the final minutes of the first half, clamping down on defense while creating six straight points on the other end to take a 44-28 lead. A last-second layup by Jeff Horner gave Iowa its first points in over four minutes and cut the lead to 14 points heading into halftime.
U-M's 14-point lead quickly evaporated to just one point, 48-47, after the first eight minutes of the second half. The Wolverines managed just four points and committed eight turnovers over the span. Two free throws by Petway at 11:14 gave U-M its first points in nearly five minutes and kept the Wolverines ahead at 50-47. Michigan turned up the intensity on the defensive end, holding Iowa scoreless for over four minutes. Meanwhile, Horton converted on another jumper and Coleman put back two more points to push the lead to 54-47 with 7:37 to play in the game.
The Hawkeyes used a 12-5 scoring run over the next six minutes to tie the score at 59-59 with just 1:31 left on the clock. Petway vaulted U-M back into the lead with a tip-in basket before Andrews coolly sank a pair of free throws to push the lead to 63-59 with 46 seconds remaining. A triple from Horner trimmed the lead down to just one point and a U-M turnover gave the Hawkeyes an opportunity to take the lead with 32 seconds left. Andrews came up big once again and collected a defensive rebound and put home two more free throws after Iowa was forced to foul, giving Michigan a 65-62 edge.
Horton had a chance to seal the game from the line with eight seconds left, but his two free throws were off the mark and Iowa prepared for one last effort to draw even. Pierce was able to draw contact on a three-point attempt with two ticks left, but his first of three free throws clanged off the rim and Michigan eventually took possession and ran out the clock.
The Wolverines close out their non-conference schedule this Saturday (Jan. 8) when they host Fairfield at Crisler Arena. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. and the game will be televised by ESPN-Local.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423