Michigan basketball stunned Luka Garza and Iowa with a blowout victory in Ann Arbor.

Michigan basketball stunned Luka Garza and Iowa with a blowout victory in Ann Arbor.

Franz Wagner had 21 points and four assists to carry Michigan basketball to a 79-57 victory over Iowa on Thursday night.

Isaiah Livers had 16 points and six rebounds and Hunter Dickinson added 14 points, eight rebounds, and stellar defense for Michigan (17-1, 12-1 Big Ten).

Luka Garza had 16 points for the Hawkeyes (17-7, 11-6 Big Ten). Jordan Bohannon added 13 points. Joe Wieskamp had 11 points and five rebounds.

Iowa’s five-game streak of holding opponents under 70 points came to an end.

1) Michigan Basketball’s Big Man Inside

Hunter Dickinson!

That’s all that is needed. Dickinson is the glue that keeps this Michigan basketball team together. Last season against Michigan, Luka Garza averaged 38.5 points per game. Dickinson however, challenged everything and made Garza work hard for every point he earned. Dickinson and the Wolverines held Garza to seven points on 3-11 shooting from the field in the first half. Not only did Dickinson match Garza on the defensive side of the ball, but Dickinson also outscored Garza in the first half with eight points, shooting 4-6 from the field in only eleven minutes of action.

Dickinson’s first-half performance was all that was needed to take Garza completely out of the game. After Dickinson picked up his third foul early in the second half, Michigan was still able to throw multiple bodies at Garza to hold off the big guy from regaining control of the paint. Dickinson with the help of Michigan’s offense outscored Iowa 40-26 in the paint, holding Garza to 16 points on 6-19 shooting.

2) Battle on the Boards

Michigan basketball completely outworked Iowa to make up for the Wolverines’ struggles in transition and their struggles knocking in shots. Offensive rebounding and finishing off the play on the defensive side of the ball were huge to give Michigan a lead entering halftime. Michigan collected 10 offensive rebounds in the first half leading to nine second-chance points. It was more than collecting rebounds. It was hustle plays, chasing down the loose ball, making the extra play for the team to gain that advantage. It was a large reason Michigan held Luka Garza without a rebound in the first half. It isn’t often Luka Garza meets his match in the effort level, but Dickinson and Michigan did just that.

While Iowa was able to control the offensive glass in the second half, Michigan basketball did the work it needed in the first. Michigan’s offense and defense were too much for Iowa to overcome after allowing nine second chance points in the first half.

MADISON, WISCONSIN – FEBRUARY 14: Head coach Juwan Howard of Michigan Basketball calls out to his team during the second half against the Wisconsin Badgers at Kohl Center on February 14, 2021 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

3) No “I” in Team

Entering the game Iowa was ranked first in the Big Ten in assists per game and Michigan not far behind at fourth. With Dickinson guarding Garza in the paint, there was no need to send a double team and Iowa struggled to share the ball and find an open man. After 20 minutes of play, Iowa had one assist after entering the game averaging 18.1 assists per game in Big Ten play. Michigan wasn’t far behind, with only four assists when they average 16.8 per game in the Big Ten.

This style of play favors Michigan. Iowa is a talented team, they are very skilled and work hard, but they aren’t as athletic. Michigan took away what Iowa does best, sharing the ball. Michigan basketball’s defense did it all. They frustrated Garza and altogether Iowa holding the Hawkeyes to four assists, 14 below their Big Ten season average.

Next Up

Iowa will travel to Ohio State on Sunday, February 28.

Michigan will play at Indiana on Saturday, February 27.


Feature Image Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

By Matt Karner

Big East hoops writer for NCAAM Review Bracketologist for Busted Bracketology (www.bustedbracketology.wordpress.com) Twitter: @karner44 Instagram: @karner44