Harris leads Michigan to 55-47 Big Ten tourney win over Iowa
INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—Michigan missed 13 shots in a row during a stretch in the second half. Iowa’s shooting was even worse.
Michigan’s Manny Harris scored 19 points and the Wolverines survived a 10-minute scoreless second-half stretch to beat Iowa 55-47 in the first round of the Big Ten tournament Thursday.
“Aside from the fact it looked like we’d never score a basket again in my life, it was a great first step for us to come into the postseason,” first-year Michigan coach John Beilein said.
The win sent ninth-seeded Michigan into Friday’s quarterfinals against No. 8-ranked and top-seeded Wisconsin, which beat the Wolverines twice in the regular season.
“We did a good job of preparing for what they were going to run,” said Michigan’s DeShawn Sims, who added 14 points. “Another thing, we played tenacious defense.”
The Wolverines needed the big defensive effort.
Michigan (10-21) took a 44-29 lead early in the second half but did not score a point after that until Harris hit two free throws with 5:44 to go. Iowa (13-19) was just as cold from the field, though, and managed only eight free throws—and no field goals—over a span of more than 16 minutes.
“If we can’t score we just have to do a better job defensively,” Sims said.
Still, the Hawkeyes trailed only 46-37 with 4:33 left, but Anthony Wright’s 3-pointer snapped a streak of 13 straight misses for Michigan, and the Wolverines never led by fewer than eight points the rest of the way.
“It doesn’t take a very astute basketball individual to figure out if you go 2-for-17 on 3s and struggle from the line that what you’d be amazed at is it’s an eight-point game,” first-year Iowa coach Todd Lickliter said. “I’m surprised it’s an eight-point game.
“They got on a run early and we couldn’t stop them. … They got good looks, shared the ball and shot it well enough.”
Iowa, a two-time tourney champion, was led by Cyrus Tate with 16 points and 11 rebounds and Jake Kelly with 11 points.
“Our defense was constant,” Beilein said. “We couldn’t score, but we stopped them. … We’ve got to be happy we’re winning the game.”
Harris had eight straight points during an early 10-0 run that put the Wolverines in control. He hit two straight 3-pointers, then after an Iowa turnover, Harris scored again on a fast-break dunk for a 20-7 lead. Michigan took its biggest lead of the half at 25-11 on a 3-pointer by Sims.
The Wolverines, last in the Big Ten in shooting percentage, finally cooled late in the period. Iowa responded with a 9-2 run and pulled within 32-25 on a 3-pointer by Justin Johnson with 20 seconds to go. A last-second basket by Zack Gibson pushed Michigan’s lead back to nine at halftime.
In the second half, a basket by Iowa’s Seth Gorney made it 39-29 with 18:10 remaining, but the Hawkeyes did not get another field goal until a layup by Kelly with 1:56 to go.
“I believe we did have some good looks,” Lickliter said. “But we don’t get a lot of second shots, so we’ve got to make the shots we get.
“We probably got enough good looks that if we were shooting the way we’re capable, we would have been much more competitive.”
Michigan finished at 37.3 percent shooting; Iowa, at 31.9 percent.