No. 9 Hawkeyes suffer blowout loss to No. 3 Wolverines in Ann Arbor

After a hotly-contested first half, Michigan pulled away in the second to win, 79-57.


Iowa Center Luka Garza (55) shoots the basketball during the first half of the men’s basketball game against the University of Michigan at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor on Thursday, February 25, 2021. Michigan leads at the half, 32-29. (Jake Maish/The Daily Iowan)

Austin Hanson, Sports Editor

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — No. 9 Iowa men’s basketball fell to No. 3 Michigan, 79-57, at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Thursday night.

The Hawkeyes couldn’t overcome a lackluster first half performance on the glass and a sluggish start from center Luka Garza. Iowa was outrebounded, 13-22, in the game’s opening 20 minutes. The Hawkeyes surrendered a whopping 10 offensive rebounds to the Wolverines in the first half.

Garza, meanwhile, shot just 3-of-11 from the floor in 18 minutes of first half action.

Iowa headed to the locker room down, 32-29.

Things did not improve much in the second half for Iowa either. Garza finished the game with 16 points on 6-of-19 shooting, the Hawkeyes were outrebounded, 41-32, and head coach Fran McCaffery was assessed a technical foul.

As the final buzzer sounded, the Wolverines had tacked a 22-point loss onto Iowa’s record this season.

The Hawkeyes are now 17-7 overall and 11-6 in conference. Iowa is 0-4 against foes ranked inside the AP top 10 this season.

Nunge exits with right leg injury

Junior forward Jack Nunge went down midway through the first half with an apparent right leg injury Thursday evening. The Newburgh, Indiana, native did return to Iowa’s bench in the second half sporting a pair of crutches. Iowa men’s basketball had previously announced that Nunge was doubtful to return for the remainder of the Hawkeyes’ matchup with the Wolverines.

Nunge’s 2019-20 campaign was ended by an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear in his right leg against Cal Poly Nov. 24, 2019. Prior to his injury, Nunge was a starter in head coach Fran McCaffery’s lineup. Nunge has come off the bench for all of Iowa’s games in 2020-21.

Fran McCaffery noted postgame that Nunge will undergo an MRI Friday to further assess the extent of his injury.

Connor McCaffery banged up early in second half

A collision early in the second half sent junior guard Connor McCaffery to Iowa’s locker room briefly. The Iowa City, Iowa, native walked off the court on his own power and returned to the bench via jog shortly after.

In a postgame meeting with reporters, Fran McCaffery said his son turned his ankle after stepping on Michigan’s Franz Wagner’s foot.

Bohannon still three assists shy of program record

Senior point guard Jordan Bohannon entered Thursday’s contest with Michigan needing just three assists to pass Jeff Horner and become Iowa men’s basketball’s all-time leading assist man.

In 33 minutes of action, Bohannon failed to register a single assist, meaning Horner’s record will remain in place for at least three more days.

The Hawkeyes only produced four assists, in total, on the night.

The Hawkeyes travel to Columbus, Ohio, Sunday to take on the No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes at 3:05 p.m. The game will air on CBS.