Playing its fourth game in nine days, Michigan fell flat in Iowa City Saturday afternoon, losing 85-67.
The Wolverines made a statement against the high-flying Hawkeyes to start the game. After playing a full possession of disciplined, man-to-man defense and forcing a bad shot, Michigan took the ball up the court. Freshman point guard Derrick Walton, Jr. watched sophomore Glenn Robinson III slice through the lane and lobbed one up. Robinson leapt and finished the alley-oop with a big slam.
But the play didn't lead to more offense. On the next three possessions, Robinson and Walton each missed open three-point looks, and fifth-year senior forward Jordan Morgan was short on a jumper, allowing the Hawkeyes to build a 6-2 lead four minutes into the game.
Sophomore point guard Spike Albrecht hit a long two to stop the mini-Iowa run, but Big Ten Player Of The Year Candidate Roy Devyn-Marble quickly answered with his third three-point make of the early going, putting the Hawkeyes up, 9-4, with Devyn-Marble accounting for all nine points.
With the Michigan offense continuing to struggle to find a rhythm, Iowa built a 13-4 lead. Sophomore guard Caris LeVert stopped the bleeding, jacking up a three-pointer with the shot clock winding down. He was smacked on the elbow during the follow through, leading to the rare four-point play.
After another Iowa three-pointer, sophomore Nik Stauskas forced a turnover, which got LeVert out in transition for an easy layup, 16-10.
But the Wolverines simply did not have an answer for Devyn-Marble, who added a runner in the lane and another three-pointer on the next two possessions, building the lead to 21-10. Just nine minutes into the game, Devyn-Marbel had already amassed 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 4-of-5 from three-point range.
At that point, Michigan had made just four field goals, to Devyn-Marble's five.
The Iowa three-pointers continued to rain down, with Michigan struggling to keep pace on the offensive end. Iowa forward Zack McCabe hit one - bringing the Hawkeyes to 5-of-6 from beyond the arc - to build a 27-11 lead. Freshman Zak Irvin answered with his first points, a two-point jumper.
After LeVert buried two free throws, Michigan finally got out of a defensive possession without points on the board, thanks to an Iowa turnover. Stauskas made them pay with a back-door cut and a strong finish at the rim for his first points of the afternoon, cutting the lead to 29-17.
Irvin, who hit four three-pointers in Michigan's win vs. Nebraska this week, continued his hot streak, hitting a three-pointer from the corner to cut the lead to 33-20.
Iowa's offense, which started on fire, turned the ball over on consecutive possessions, with a three-second call and a bad pass.
Another Iowa turnover with just under four minutes to go allowed Michigan to get out in transition, where Irvin has been deadly recently. Robinson found him in transition, and Irvin knocked down another three-pointer, part of an 8-0 Michigan run. The Wolverines closed the gap a bit, 33-25.
But Devyn-Marble hit yet another three-pointer on the next possession, pushing him to 19 points in the first half.
After Iowa's Melsahn Basabe scored on a put-back to push the score to 40-29 with less than two minutes to play, Robinson missed badly on a three-pointer from the top of the key, missing a chance to cut into the lead.
Devyn-Marble capped off the furious Iowa half with a buzzer-beater at the end of the half from three-point range. He finished the first half with 22 points. Iowa went into the locker room up 43-29.
Caris LeVert: 3-6 FG, 1-3 3FG, 2 REB, 11 points
Zak Irvin: 4-6 FG, 2-3 3FG, 1 REB, 10 points
Nik Stauskas: 2-5 FG, 0-2 3FG, 1 REB, 1 STL, four points
Spike Albrecht: 1-1 FG, 1 REB, 1 AST, two points
Glenn Robinson III: 1-4 FG, 0-2 3FG, 3 REB, 1 AST, 1 STL, 2 BLK, two points
Michigan started slow offensively, with a Robinson miss in the lane and a turnover, but LeVert got to the line on Michigan's next possession by driving into the lane. Unfortunately, the Iowa offense showed no signs of slowing down, with another made three-pointer, this one from Mike Gesell.
The Wolverines showed better movement on the next possession, finding Walton for a wide-open three-point play.
Michigan coach John Beilein took Stauskas out of the game at the 16:30 mark because of his second turnover of the half, switching him out for Irvin.
On the next possession, with the shot clock winding down, Walton sliced into the lane and drew the foul.
On Michigan's next possession, the Hawkeyes clamped down defensively, forcing a shot clock violation with the score 54-36.
With 13:30 to go, LeVert cut into the lane for a quick floater, but he picked up a foul on the other end, which sent Devyn-Marble to the line. The free throws were his first two points of the second half, after ripping off 22 in the opening 20 minutes.
Stauskas, who had been quite for the first 27 minutes of the game, jacked up a contested three-pointer in the next possession, and picked up the foul. He hit all three to close the gap to 15 points with 13 minutes to go.
But the Hawkeyes went on another run, thanks to second-chance opportunities, to build their largest lead of the day. With under 11 minutes to play, they went up 63-41.
LeVert hit an open three-point shot off an inbounds pass from Albrecht to stop the Iowa run, and he drew a foul on Michigan's next possession to go to the line. He hit one of two, but Iowa continued to find open looks on the other side of the court.
With time running out and the need to start some type of run growing, the Wolverines grew cold from the field. They missed their next five shots and turned the ball over twice in the two-and-a-half minutes following LeVert's free throws.
Meanwhile, the Hawkeyes simply kept scoring, pushing the lead to 72-45 with seven minutes to go.
On Michigan's next possession, Irvin continued to impress, with another smooth jumper from the baseline. And Iowa's Adam Woodbury was called for an offensive rebound on the other side of the court, which led to another Irvin three-pointer, cutting the Iowa lead to 22 with under six minutes to play.
Stauskas hit a three on the next possession, making the score 73-53 with five minutes to go. Although the offense started to catch fire a bit, it was too little, too late.
And after the Wolverines' mini-run, the Hawkeyes pushed the lead back to 25 with three minutes to go.
With 1:20 to go, Basabe put the final nail in the coffin with a monster alley-oop slame to re-open the lead to 25. Although redshirt sophomore Max Bielfeldt hit a three-pointer and Irvin grabbed a nice steal and another three-pointer on the next few possessions, the story line was clear: Michigan got blown out in Iowa City.
Final score: Iowa 85, Michigan 67.
Caris LeVert: 6-12 FG, 2-6 3FG, 5 REB, 22 points
Zak Irvin: 7-12 FG, 4-6 3FG, 3 REB, 2 AST, 19 points
Nik Stauskas: 3-6 FG, 1-3 3FG, 2 REB, 1 STL, 10 points