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Wolverines’ shooting clinic enough to oust Hawkeyes

Posted on 30. Jan, 2011 by in Iowa Basketball

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By Brendan Stiles

HawkeyeDrive.com

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The Michigan Wolverines were hitting shots, and there was simply nothing the Iowa Hawkeyes could do about it.

Thanks in part to 33-of-56 shooting from the floor, Michigan was able to secure a second consecutive Big Ten win by defeating Iowa, 87-73, on Sunday at Crisler Arena. The loss keeps the Hawkeyes alone in last place at 1-8 in the conference, and Iowa is 8-13.

Early on, it looked like a barnburner would break out as both the Hawkeyes and Wolverines were knocking down shots. In particular for Iowa was freshman forward Melsahn Basabe, who finished with a career-high 25 points, as well as eight rebounds.

“I’m told to be efficient whenever you do get in there, so that’s what I try to do,” Basabe said.

Also shining bright for the Hawkeyes were junior guard Bryce Cartwright, who posted a career-high nine assists to go along with 11 points, and freshman guard Devyn Marble, who came off the bench and scored 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting.

But eventually, Michigan was sparked by a combination of productive 3-point shooting and great guard play. Highlighting the Wolverine effort was sophomore Darius Morris, who posted a triple-double with 12 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds.

Morris had the night to remember, but all five Michigan starters scored in double-figures, with freshman guard Tim Hardaway, Jr., leading the way with 19 points shooting 7-of-14, including 5-of-10 from 3-point range.

“Morris is a handful, and we always talk about what we didn’t do, but I think you got to give Michigan credit for what they did do,” McCaffery said. “It wasn’t just him, but it all starts with him. I thought their penetration and help creating recovery situations was excellent.

“We, on the other hand, were slow with our close-outs. We were close, but Hardaway, [Zack] Novak, they’ve got quick triggers. If you’re not there, it’s going to be in your face.”

The Hawkeyes hung toe-to-toe with the Wolverines throughout the first half, but a 15-3 run that started late in the first half and carried over into the second half was the catalyst for Michigan in being able to remain ahead the rest of the evening.

By the time McCaffery called a timeout with 17:35 remaining and Iowa trailing 45-35, things would only continue to get worse. The Wolverine lead would expand to as many as 21 points in the second half at 69-48.

In the second half alone, Michigan shot 19-0f-26.

“Once they got hot, they had all the confidence in the world,” Cartwright said. “We can’t allow them to distill that in themselves.”

Iowa did manage to climb back into the contest, cutting the deficit all the way down to 77-69 with less than four minutes left. That ounce of fight late in a game where the hole was dug too deep was something the Hawkeyes look to hang their hat on.

“They were making shots, but it was our effort,” Basabe said. “We cut it from 21 to eight. If we could’ve stopped them then, we could’ve stopped them from the beginning. I’m not going to say we were at the mercy of them, because we weren’t.”

If there is good news for Iowa it’s that the Hawkeyes get to return home  this week after playing four of their last five away from Carver-Hawkeye Arena to face a reeling Michigan State squad on Feb. 2. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Central, and the game will air nationally on the Big Ten Network.

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