ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team lost a heartbreaking 74-72 overtime decision to Iowa, Saturday afternoon (March 5), at Crisler Arena. In a contest with 10 ties and 13 lead changes, neither team lead by more than three points for the final 14 minutes of play, eventually forcing overtime with the score locked in a 63-63 tie. The Wolverines (13-17 overall 4-12 Big Ten) kept the contest close for the first three minutes of overtime, but Iowa put up five-straight points to make it a two-possession game. The Wolverines hit field goals to keep the score close, but the Hawkeyes answered all of Michigan's baskets with scores of their own to ultimately keep U-M from taking the victory.
In their final game as Michigan Wolverines, seniors Dani Wohl (West Bloomfield, Mich./West Bloomfield HS) and J.C. Mathis (Brooklyn, N.Y./John F. Kennedy HS) each came away with key contributions to the Michigan performance. Though they combined for just four points, Wohl and Mathis helped the Wolverine cause with their intangibles. Wohl dished off a career-high six assists, came down with a career-high six rebounds, and made two key steals late in the contest. Mathis helped out underneath the basket, also coming away with six boards while swatting away a career-best three blocks.
The Maize and Blue had four players in double figures with sophomore Dion Harris (Detroit, Mich./Redford HS) leading the way with a career-best 25 points, hitting nine from the floor with a career-best-tying six triples in his 42-minute performance. Sophomore Brent Petway (McDonough, Ga./Griffin HS) came away with his third-career double-double, putting up a career-best 16 points along with 10 rebounds. Freshman Ron Coleman (Romulus, Mich./Romulus HS) had 12 tallies, hitting 3-of-9 from the field with two triples and a perfect 4-of-4 from the line while junior Graham Brown (Mio, Mich./Mio-AuSable HS) rounded out the double-digit scorers with 10 points and six boards.
In a contest that was close from start to finish, the two teams see-sawed back and forth for the first half of play. Michigan jumped out to an early four-point lead (16-12) with the help of a combined four triples from Harris, Coleman and junior Sherrod Harrell (Kalamazoo, Mich./Central HS). Iowa's Greg Brunner answered with eight-straight points before the Hawkeyes went on a 9-3 run to take the biggest lead of the afternoon (28-19) with 6:58 remaining in the half.
Michigan took over for the remainder of the first frame, outscoring Iowa 15-7 for the rest of the half. The Wolverine drive was sparked by Petway, who was responsible for eight of Michigan's 15 tallies. The sophomore forward drained three field goals, drawing a foul on each of his three buckets and converting 2-of-3 from the charity stripe. Coleman capped off the U-M run to give the Maize and Blue a 34-32 advantage with 1:25 left, but Iowa drained a triple at the buzzer to take momentum and a 35-34 lead into the locker rooms.
Neither team jumped out to a big advantage in the second half, as the lead changed hands five different times. Though the Wolverines found themselves down by six (45-39) with 14:05 remaining, Harris quickly responded with back-to-back triples to tie the game at 45. Iowa helped Michigan stay in the game in the heart of the half thanks to foul trouble. Though the Hawkeyes led 51-47 with 10:47 to play, they allowed Michigan to the line three-straight times. The Wolverines went a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe to tie the score 53-53 with 7:13 remaining.
After back-and-forth scoring, the Wolverines found themselves trailing 61-58 with under four minutes to go in the contest. Michigan battled back thanks to five-straight points from Brown to give the Maize and Blue a 63-61 lead with 1:19 left to play. It looked as though U-M would take the win as the clock ticked down, but Iowa managed a field goal with 43 seconds remaining to force the game into overtime.
Iowa came out fighting at the outset of overtime play, putting up a quick bucket with 4:34 remaining to take a 65-63 lead. Harris turned the tides with a three-point basket for the Wolverines, giving Michigan a 66-65 advantage with just over four minutes remaining. After scoring three-straight points, Iowa drew a key foul and converted for a four-point lead (70-66) with just over a minute to play. Though the Wolverines continued to fight, they were unable to overcome the two-possession deficit, dropping the 74-72 decision to Iowa.
With the regular season over, the Wolverines will now turn to the Big Ten Tournament in Chicago, Ill. at the United Center. The Maize and Blue will secure the No. 9 seed with a Purdue loss at Wisconsin. All signs point to the Wolverines playing Northwestern in the first round Thursday, March 10 at 11 a.m. CST.
Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423