Michigan Drops Close Decision 68-60

Michigan connected on double digit triples for the third time of the season, but the Wolverines late run from downtown wasn't enough to overcome a seven minute second half drought that saw the Iowa pull away from the Maize and Blue in a 68-60 loss Saturday night at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor.

ANN ARBOR -- Michigan shot the ball as well as they've done all season, but it wasn't enough in a 68-60 loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday night in front of 11,638 fans at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor.

Michigan connected on 11 triples, including five from sophomore DeShawn Sims, to finish just one short of the season high set on Nov. 11 against Brown University, but it wasn't enough after a seven minute scoring drought in the middle of the second half cost the Maize and Blue a chance at its second conference win of the year.

"I think Iowa played a great game. We slipped up on some of the ball screens, and we just didn't play well. I can't put my finger on it, I can do that better when I'm watching the tapes," Michigan coach John Beilein said following the win, "but, Freeman was outstanding, Tate was outstanding, and we didn't have answers for either one of them."

Jevohn Shepherd started out hot to give Michigan an early lead. Shepherd scored the Wolverines first seven points, a pair of jumpers and the Maize and Blue's first triple, to give Michigan a 7-2 edge, and Ekpe Udoh pushed it to a seven point lead on the next possession.

Cyrus Tate answered back for the Hawkeyes, though. With four of his 21 points, Tate trimmed the Michigan lead to one with a pair of free throws with 12:46 left.

Zach Gibson, Jevohn Shepherd and DeShawn Sims would add Michigan triples to reestablish the lead at 27-21, but the half ended with an 8-0 Hawkeyes run that included a pair of triples from Tony Freeman who finished with a game-high 28 points.

Freeman's hot shooting continued into the second half. With 19 of his 28 points in the final half, including 3-for-5 shooting from behind the arc, Freeman helped the Hawkeyes establish an 11-point lead with just over 12 minutes left.

After Michigan trimmed it back into single-digits temporarily, a Freeman triple eventually extended the lead to a game-high 16 points with just over five minutes to go.

Michigan would battle back within three points at 63-60 in the final minutes, but not even six triples in the final five minutes of regulation could get Michigan back in the game following a long scoreless drought in the half.

DeShawn Sims led Michigan scorers with 18 points. Freshman Manny Harris and sophomore Jevohn Shepherd each finished with 11.

The Wolverines next return to the court on Tuesday night for a road contest with the Wisconsin Badgers.

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