We saw a little bit of both on Thursday night in Iowa City, as it was definitely a tale of two halves.
Iowa led 27-16 at halftime, and had led by as many as 16 points at one time. Iowa had just four turnovers at that point and had forced eight Michigan giveaways. Iowa led the battle of the boards and hit more three-point shots than Michigan. They out shot the Wolverines 28-18 in field goal attempts.
Iowa dictated the tempo in the first half. They played solid to great defense, forcing several bad shots. They were patient on offense, something that seemed to affect Michigan's tempo and rhythm on the offensive end.
Iowa started the second half with a turnover that led to a runout basket for the Wolverines. Michigan came out and played at a much different pace in the second half, almost the way they played to close out the game when Iowa won 68-60 at Michigan. They were running off of made shots (which were few and far between for Iowa), they were running off of missed shots. As Forrest Gump would say, 'they were running!'
Iowa not only didn't have any answers on defense, they also didn't do much in on the offensive end. Iowa went close to 10 minutes in the second half without a field goal, something we have written far too many times this year.
Both teams had 24 field goal attempts in the second half, but Michigan made 13 of theirs to just eight for Iowa. The Wolverines were 6-12 from three in the second half, where Iowa was 3-12. Iowa had eight turnovers in the second half to Michigan's three.
And there was your ball game.
On the night, both teams made 19 field goals, and both teams made seven three-point shots. Michigan was 15-19 from the free throw line, Iowa was 7 of 9. Iowa had 12 turnovers to Michigan's 11.
This was one of the more painful losses of the year, as the Hawkeyes had such a large lead and played well to get that lead. To see Iowa dictate tempo in the first half, and then watch Michigan do the same thing to Iowa in the second half was disappointing.
This was also a Michigan team that had won just two Big Ten teams coming into this game, and those wins came against Northwestern and Penn State.
Iowa still has a chance to beat a number of the teams left on its schedule, but this loss might take a little air out of Iowa's sails. They will have five days to think about it, too, as Iowa is off on Saturday.
Their next game is at home against Northwestern next Tuesday.