Coming off a near-upset of No. 5 Indiana last week, Fran McCaffery and the Iowa Hawkeyes got a taste Sunday of what makes their Big Ten conference schedule so tough in 2013.
Iowa slowed the pace of the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines and controlled the tempo early, holding the game steady at 35-33 with 2:12 remaining in the first half.
But then the floodgates opened.
Iowa went cold from floor, 0-of-3 from three-point range in the final minute of the half, which ignited the Wolverines’ transition game and led to an 8-0 Michigan run. John Beilein’s team never looked back, leading by 11 points at the half and going on to win, 95-67.
Four Michigan players scored in double figures, led by Glenn Robinson III with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Mitch McGary, who was the catalyst behind the late first-half run, finished with five points and tied a career high with 11 rebounds.
The key here, though, is not the final score, but rather that Michigan fought off a tough Iowa team in the first half, commanding a change of pace with the sparking of a transition game, and went on to a blowout victory. Simply put, the Wolverines adapted.
Iowa did a good job in the first half of working the ball to the interior an exploiting an advantage by scoring 10 of its first 16 points in the paint. Michigan fell into the trap, but not for long.
As soon as Iowa began to miss shots, the Wolverines shifted their offensive mindset and used the transition game to pull ahead convincingly.
Trey Burke finished with a double-double of 19 points and 12 assists, furthering distinguishing himself as perhaps the Big Ten’s best point guard and one of the country’s most reliable playmakers.