Michigan came into the contest last in the Big Ten in three-point shooting, but the Maize and Blue hit 10-22 treys tonight to outlast the Hawkeyes in Crisler Arena. The Wolverines opened the game hot, with guard Daniel Horton hitting two 3-pointers and center Courtney Sims scoring seven points in the first three minutes as Michigan opened an 11-2 lead. Horton, who has struggled with his shot much of the year, has been finding his mark more frequently as of late. “My stroke has been feeling a lot better,” Horton said. “I only hit one at Penn State, but I’m feeling it a little more. I still haven’t made as many as I would have liked, but it’s definitely feeling a lot better.” After Horton’s second trifecta, Iowa coach Steve Alford called a timeout to regroup his team. His sideline wake up call did just that as the Hawkeyes countered with an 11-2 run of their own to tie the game at 13 by the first media timeout with 14:29 remaining.
Courtney Sims goes up for two!
Freshman Dion Harris sparked the Wolverines out of the timeout with seven of their next 16 points over the next five minutes to put the home team up 31-20. But like earlier in the game, Iowa withstood the run and then answered… pouring in 15 straight points to seize the lead, 35-31 with 4:44 left in the half. Then, for the final two and a half minutes of the first half and the first two and a half minutes of the second, Michigan went on a three-point-shooting spree that was ultimately the difference in the game. In that five minute stretch Lester Abram hit 3-three's and Daniel Horton and Bernard Robinson Jr. (who spent the whole game in foul trouble and therefore a lot of it on the bench) hit one apiece. At the 17:28 mark of the second half it was 52-41 Michigan. “It was a game of runs,” Coach Tommy Amaker said. “We told our guys at halftime, 'which ever team going to stretch a run out was going to win'. Lester Abram was a great part of that in the second half, hitting key shots when we needed them most.”
Bernard Robinson Jr. to the hole!
The rest of the game saw Michigan hanging onto a 7-12 point lead, with forward Brent Petway giving Michigan some solid play inside with five points and three blocked shots, and Courtney Sims hitting his first collegiate three-pointer. Coach Amaker singled out both freshmen as huge keys in his team’s success. “I feel that our two freshmen inside players; Courtney Sims and Brent Petway were outstanding,” Amaker said. “I was really pleased especially in this type of game. They stepped up and gave us a great inside presence not only on the offensive end but they also combined for five blocks on the defensive end.”
Brent Petway gathers the rebound after he blocks the shot!
Abram led the Wolverine with 24 points, and Courtney Sims added 16. Over all Michigan shot 53 percent from the field, and also made 19 (of 26) free throws. For more on the game, click the following links: (boxscore, notes, quotes).
Michigan improved its record to 12-5 on the season, and also moved to .500
in the Big Ten at 3-3. Three of the Wolverines' next four games are on the road,
with Michigan facing a stiff test in Champaign Saturday afternoon against Illinois
(also 12-5, 3-3).