Iowa men’s basketball picks up fifth straight victory, beats Michigan on the road

The Hawkeyes downed the Wolverines, 82-71, at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor Thursday night.


Grace Smith

Iowa forward Kris Murray goes up for a layup during a men’s basketball game between Iowa and Indiana at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 13, 2022. The Hawkeyes defeated the Hoosiers, 83-74. Murray shot 12-18 in field goals.

Ben Palya, Sports Reporter

Iowa men’s basketball led for the entirety of its 82-71 win over Michigan on Thursday night at the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor. The Hawkeyes’ largest lead of the contest was 19, and they hit that mark with 11:14 remaining in the game.

From that point, the Wolverines began to trim the Hawkeyes’ lead down to seven. During a 15-6 Michigan run that began with about eight minutes left in the second half, Iowa turned the ball over four times.

In the final four minutes of Thursday’s contest, however, the Hawkeyes forced three Wolverine turnovers to seal their fifth consecutive victory.

One of the key things the Hawkeyes did to win on Thursday was slow forward Moussa Diobate. Iowa let Diobate score 28 points in its first matchup with Michigan on Feb. 17. On Thursday, the Hawkeyes held Diobate to just four points on 2-of-9 shooting.

“We did a better job of defending them before they got it and came with some double teams that were more connected than the last time,” Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery said postgame.

With Diobate struggling, the Wolverines’ guard-center tandem of Eli Brooks and Hunter Dickinson stepped up and produced 38 points.

Sophomore forward Keegan Murray led Iowa with 23 points and seven rebounds, while Kris Murray and Jordan Bohannon each scored 19.

Kris Murray was tasked with defending Diobate and Dickensen. He picked up just three fouls defending two of the biggest cogs in Michigan’s offense.

“He really worked whether he was guarding Dickenson or Diabate,” McCaffery said. “He was moving his feet, anticipating the action, and using his length.”

Big picture

Iowa moved to 22-8 on the season and 12-7 in Big Ten Conference play with Thursday’s win. The Hawkeyes have won seven of their last eight games.

Iowa currently sits in fourth place in the Big Ten standings. If the season ended today, the Hawkeyes would receive a Big Ten Tournament double-bye for being one of the league’s top four teams record-wise.

Bohannon, Murray lethal from distance 

Iowa shot a season-best 57.9 percent from 3-point range Thursday. Bohannon and Keegan Murray made nine of the Hawkeyes’ 11 3-pointers.

Iowa ultimately went 11-of-19 from downtown. Bohannon and Murray shot 5-of-7 and 4-of-4 from distance, respectively.

Road warriors

Iowa has been comfortable on the road during the past month. Since their double overtime loss to the Penn State Nittany Lions at the Bryce Jordan Center in State College on Jan. 31, the Hawkeyes have rattled off four straight road wins.

Iowa lost five of its first seven road games this season. The Hawkeyes’ away record for the season is 6-5.

Up next

Iowa will wrap up its regular season campaign with a matchup against Illinois in Champaign on Sunday at 6:37 p.m. The contest will air live on FS1.