ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team evened its Big Ten Conference record Wednesday night (Jan. 28), defeating Iowa 90-84 in front of 10,921 fans at Crisler Arena. Michigan (12-5, 3-3 Big Ten) used a balanced offensive attack to earn its second straight conference victory, with five Wolverines finishing the game in double figures.
Sims' first three-pointer of the season was part of his career-high 16-point night.
Sophomore Lester Abram (Pontiac, Mich./Northern HS)
led all scorers with 24 points, including four-of-six from behind the arc. Freshman Courtney Sims (Roslindale, Mass./Noble and Greenough School)
chipped in 16 points, including 11 in the first half, while sophomore Daniel Horton (Cedar Hill, Texas/Cedar Hill HS)
netted 15 points and handed out seven assists. Rounding out the U-M double-digit scorers were senior Bernard Robinson Jr. (Washington, D.C./New Hampton Prep [N.H.])
and freshman Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS)
, who finished with 10 points each. Iowa, who also had five players in double figures, was led by Pierre Pierce's 23 points.
The Wolverines used the opening two minutes to build a quick 11-2 advantage. Sims began the charge with five points in the first 30 seconds of the game, and two straight Iowa turnovers resulted in two straight triples from Horton to give U-M the nine-point lead at 18:07. Following a timeout, the Hawkeyes responded with an 11-2 run of their own over the next three minutes to knot the score at 13-13 with 14:48 left in the first half.
Harris came off the bench and provided Michigan with an immediate spark, scoring the game's next five points off a jumper and a reverse layup to give the Wolverines a 17-13 edge. Robinson kept things going on the offensive end, swiping an Iowa pass and getting it back on the break for a layup and foul. The ensuing free throw put U-M up by five points, and sophomore Graham Brown (Mio, Mich./Mio-AuSable HS) increased the lead to 22-15 with a put-back on the next trip down the floor.
Sims continued his stellar first-half play with four of Michigan's next six points, and another triple from Harris gave the Wolverines an 11-point lead, 31-20, with 9:01 remaining until the break. Glen Worley and Pierce combined for 11 of Iowa's points during a 15-0 run, as the Hawkeyes grabbed a 35-31 lead with four minutes left until halftime.
Michigan would not let Iowa hold the lead for long, as the Wolverines ended the half with a 13-2 run. Abram and Robinson both drilled triples during the spurt, while Brown's fast-break layup after an errant Iowa inbounds pass gave U-M a 44-37 lead after the first 20 minutes of action.
Sims and Abram scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the first half to lead U-M. Worley paced the Hawkeyes with 11 points and six rebounds in the first frame.
U-M got off to another solid start in the second half, with Horton connecting on his third triple of the game in the first minute to put the Wolverines ahead by 10 points. Abram accounted for eight of Michigan's next 12 points, including two more triples, allowing the Maize and Blue to sustain a 59-49 advantage with just under 14 minutes to play.
With Michigan holding a 63-55 lead, freshman Brent Petway (McDonough, Ga./Griffin HS)
came off the bench and energized the crowd with two straight hoops inside to keep the Wolverines ahead by 13 points. Sims continued to contribute on offense, putting home two free throws before nailing his first career triple on U-M's next possession. A transition bucket from Robinson increased the lead to 75-62 with 8:14 left in the game.
The Hawkeyes answered with an 8-2 run to trim the Michigan lead to 77-70 with four minutes to go. Harris kept the Wolverines in front with a free throw and a tough leaner off the glass. With under two minutes to play, Brown hit a clutch basket inside as the shot clock ran down to keep the lead at 82-74.
Despite two desperation triples, Iowa was only able to get within five points of the lead. Time eventually became a factor and Michigan was able to ice the game from the free throw line, scoring its final eight points from the line.
The Wolverines will next travel to Champaign, Ill., for a meeting with Illinois. The CBS-televised game will begin at 12:39 CST at Assembly Hall.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423