Iowa Men's Basketball

Iowa basketball dances past No. 5 Michigan

Hawkeyes dialed up the defense, blasted Wolverines

IOWA CITY — It had been a while since there was a moment in Carver-Hawkeye Arena when it came to Big Ten men’s basketball, a big moment, a moment that felt like something special had happened.

Friday night brought two hours worth of moment. No. 25 Iowa’s 74-59 victory over fifth-ranked Michigan was what the score said it was.

“They’ve got a good team,” Michigan Coach John Beilein said. “A great team.”

They’ve got a 17-5 team, a 6-5 Big Ten team. More importantly, they’ve got a team that bounced back after two disappointing losses, dialed up the defense, and defeated a club that came here with a 20-1 record including nine wins in 10 league games.

“It’s good to get a taste of that. We want to continue that,” Iowa forward Luka Garza said after scoring a game-high 19 points for his fifth-straight game of at least that much offense. His 15-point second half was enormous.

“I was just confident, went to my moves, and it all worked out,” said Garza.

Garza and all his teammates were in the center of Carver Dance Party after the game. Iowa’s students did a court storm. Their basketball players embraced it with as much relish as they did playing game-long defense that held an excellent team to 32.3 percent shooting.

“I was a little bit scared,” Iowa center Ryan Kriener said, referring to the charging horde of students, not the Wolverines. Kriener was 6-foot-9 big in the first half, and had his first career double-double with 15 points and a career-high 10 rebounds.

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He scored five straight points in the front half of Iowa’s 13-0 first-half run that turned a 17-12 deficit into a 25-17 lead. Freshman Joe Wieskamp scored the last six points of the run.

Wieskamp was scoreless Friday when he was replaced for a few minutes. Then he returned. As in, the Wieskamp of the majority of this season returned. His first points were off a steal with 9:08 left in the half.

The gate was open, for Wieskamp and the Hawkeyes. After Jordan Poole hit a jumper for Michigan, Iowa peeled off eight more points for a 33-19 advantage.

The halftime lead was 42-29. The Wolverines closed to within 54-49 midway through the second half, then the Hawkeyes resumed their ownership of this one and closed it out.

Wieskamp had 16 points and a career-best five steals.

“I don’t know if I can say enough about the dude,” said Kriener. “He’s been impressing everyone since day one when he got here. He’s just an animal. He’s a complete baller.”

He’s also a freshman who experienced freshman things in his previous two games when he had five and three points, respectively, in a home loss to Michigan State and a 92-87 road defeat to Minnesota.

“I was frustrated, obviously,” Wieskamp said. “Not good scoring nights for me. I don’t think I impacted the game very much offensively.

“So I met with Coach (Kirk) Speraw, Fran. I talked to my different trainers, my AAU coach, my dad, my grandpa — guys I’ve always gone to when I’m struggling.

“Everyone was telling me to be aggressive.”

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Wieskamp took all the advice and ran with it. So did his team, which aggressively got the Wolverines in foul trouble early. Seven-footer Jon Teske played just 13 minutes before fouling out.

Iowa out-rebounded the Wolverines by 12, out-shot them by 13.3 percent.

It was a lot of good stuff against a really good opponent, and it incited a Friday night dance party afterward. This was a moment.

l Comments: (319) 368-8840; mike.hlas@thegazette.com

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