Stellar Second Half Propels Hawkeyes Over Wolverines

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team suffered its seventh straight road loss, falling 76-56 to the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday (Feb. 23) at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. The Wolverines were able to recover from a double-digit deficit in the first half but were unable to keep Iowa (16-13, 5-10 Big Ten) at bay in the second frame, when the Hawkeyes built a game-high 23-point lead. The loss was the fourth in a row for Michigan (10-15, 5-9 Big Ten).

Gavin Groninger (Plainfield, Ind./Plainfield HS) led the Wolverines with 17 points, shooting 5-of-8 from behind the arc with a pair of free throws. Iowa owned the paint, however, led by 20 points and 11 rebounds from Reggie Evans.

Michigan was tormented by five turnovers in the first eight minutes as it lost an early 9-5 advantage to a 12-2 Iowa run. LaVell Blanchard (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) connected on a three-pointer, but the Wolverines could neither capitalize nor gain any momentum from the play and Iowa jetted out on another run, 8-0 over the next four minutes, to take a commanding 25-14 lead with 7:23 left in the period.

The Maize and Blue was able to battle back, however, taking a short-lived 30-29 lead before a Luke Recker bucket put his Hawkeyes ahead going into halftime. The Michigan comeback was spurred initially by Groninger, who connected on three treys and scored nine of Michigan's 11 points to bring the Wolverines within four at 3:34.

Silent for nearly five and a half minutes late in the first frame, Iowa's offensive slumber allowed Bernard Robinson Jr. (Washington, D.C./New Hampton Prep. [N.H.]) and Blanchard to give Michigan its first lead since early in the half with an alley-oop combination and a three-pointer off the hand of Robinson.

Despite recovering from an 11-point deficit in the first half, Michigan could not recover from a motivated Iowa offense, which posted the second half's first six points and did not look back. Michigan, in contrast, was held scoreless until Young's bucket nearly four and a half minutes into play.

With a wide-open three-pointer to extend the Iowa lead to 56-41, Brody Boyd sent the Wolverines into a four-minute slump that allowed the Hawkeyes to put the game out of reach with a 9-2 run to extend the Iowa lead to 19.

Iowa remained strong throughout the half, outscoring the Maize and Blue 45-26 in the final frame to take the 76-56 victory.

The Wolverines will play their final regular-season road game when they travel to Wisconsin on Wednesday (Feb. 27) for a 7 p.m. CST start. U-M's regular-season finale is against Ohio State next Saturday (March 2, 8 p.m.) in Crisler Arena.

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423

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