While No. 10 Iowa had just two players, guard Roy Devyn Marble and forward Aaron White, averaging double figures entering Wednesday night’s game at No. 21 Michigan they don’t lack for scoring options. The Hawkeyes have five other players averaging between 7.1 and 9.9 points per game, with any of those players capable of joining Marble and White in double figures on any given night.
Against the Wolverines it would be Basabe who did the honors, accounting for 17 points and six rebounds on the night. But that, combined with 17 points from White and 13 from Marble, wasn’t enough for Fran McCaffery’s team as Michigan won 75-67 in Ann Arbor. Sure Nik Stauskas, who for some reason was left off of the Wooden Award midseason list that was released earlier Wednesday, was a handful and Jordan Morgan and Glenn Robinson III were productive as well.
But the biggest problem for Iowa was their efficiency, with the Hawkeyes scoring just over one point per possession and turning the ball over on more than 21% of those possessions. Iowa’s 14 turnovers may not seem like a terribly high number, and had they been able to control the flow of the game it likely wouldn’t have been an issue. But it was Michigan who dictated tempo, and their ability to take better care of the basketball helped decide the outcome.
Michigan, which turned the ball over just nine times, converted Iowa’s 14 turnovers into 20 points and outscored the Hawkeyes by ten points in that department. Those points factored into Michigan scoring 1.14 points per possession, the most Iowa’s allowed in a conference game this season. Michigan’s a good offensive team as it is, but for Iowa to give the Wolverines those extra opportunities makes the Wolverines even tougher to defend.
But while their loss drops them two games behind Michigan and Michigan State in the loss column, by no means is Iowa out of the Big Ten race. The Hawkeyes still have games against Michigan State (two, in fact), Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin remaining on their schedule with the trip to East Lansing being the only road tilt of the five. But in order to make good on that potential, Iowa has to take better care of the ball than they did on Wednesday night.