Team effort fuels Iowa basketball in upset over No. 5 Michigan

Iowa got offensive contributions from multiple players in Friday’s upset, and its defense played some of the best basketball it has all season long.


Lily Smith

Fans storm the court and celebrate with the team during the Iowa/Michigan men’s basketball game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Friday, February 1, 2019. The Hawkeyes took down the No. 5 ranked Wolverines, 74-59.

Adam Hensley, Pregame Editor

No. 5 Michigan entered Carver-Hawkeye on Feb. 1 with one of the country’s best defenses.

In six of their 21 games, the Wolverines had held their opponents to fewer than 50 points. Only once had a team scored in the 70s against Michigan, and its defense kept opponents to 39.2 percent shooting.

On Feb. 1, Iowa’s offense clicked to near-perfection, leaving Michigan’s vaunted defense in disarray.

The Hawkeyes cranked out a 74-59 upset win in court-storming fashion, and Joe Wieskamp, Luka Garza, and Ryan Kriener headed the charge offensively.

“It’s a big win for us,” Jordan Bohannon said. “Anytime you play a team like that — they’re one of the most disciplined teams in the entire country, and I think their defensive efficiency is one of the top in the entire country. I think that shows a lot. What we were able to do on the offensive end, what we were able to do on the defensive end as well … it took a lot of us to step up tonight.”

Wieskamp scored 16 points, giving Iowa life at certain stretches of the game. One on play in particular, the freshman dribbled into the lane, twisting around 7-1 Wolverine Jon Teske to sink a reverse layup while getting fouled.

His performance came as a major plus — the Muscatine native had made just two of his eight attempts in Iowa’s last two contests.

However, Iowa’s one-two-punch of Garza and Kriener harassed the Michigan big men all game long.

Garza scored a team-high 19 points and grabbed 8 rebounds, and Kriener notched his first double-double (15 points, 10 rebounds).

Garza dealt with early foul trouble, recording a pair of personal fouls in the first half, but he made the most of his time in the second half.

“He was frustrated at first, but he’s pretty mature now,” head coach Fran McCaffery said. “He calmed down, and I think what he does is he takes advantage of the opportunity on the bench to watch what’s going on and figure out what [he] can do when he gets out there. He was really good when he went back in.”

Fifteen of his points and 6 of his rebounds came in the second half, when he came out locked and ready to go. But when Garza sat, the Hawkeyes turned to Kriener, who effort on both ends of the court kept the Carver-Hawkeye crowd on its feet.

“It’s always satisfying to know when you go to the bench with fouls, you’ve got someone who can come in and help and do great things,” Garza said.

The Hawkeyes scored 40 points in the paint, double what Michigan was able to produce, and thanks to Garza’s and Kriener’s presence down low, the Hawkeyes got Michigan’s best defender, Teske, to foul out.

“Once Teske was out of the game, they had a missing presence, so we really tried to pound it inside then,” Kriener said.

But as good as Iowa’s offense was, its defense played some of the best 40 minutes of basketball it has all season long.

Michigan turned the ball over only eight times, but Iowa’s lock-down effort held the Wolverines to just 32.1 percent shooting — a credit to Iowa’s zone defense.

“Their length is good in their zone,” Michigan head coach John Beilein said. “They just did some things in their zone that made it tough for us. We had to take a lot of 3s at the end. We didn’t get many good looks.”

Now, with an upset win under its belt, Iowa will shift its focus to Indiana. The Hawkeyes will travel to Bloomington on Feb. 7 for an 8 p.m. showdown with the Hoosiers in Assembly Hall.