This one felt good.
Freshman sensation Joe Wieskamp sparked an early 21-2 run, and Iowa kept its Nikes on No. 5 Michigan's throat for the duration as the Hawkeyes throttled the visiting Wolverines, 74-59, on Friday night. Luka Garza finished with 19 points to lead all scorers, and Wieskamp finished with 16 to go with 5 steals(!) and 7 rebounds. Iowa improves to 17-5 (6-5) on the season, and this is easily the biggest of those 17.
Michigan took a 17-12 lead to start the game, but even then the Wolverines were in serious trouble. Iowa made it a point to work the ball inside to Tyler Cook (7 points, 8 rebounds), Ryan Kriener (15 points, 10 rebounds in his first career double-double) and Garza, and the trio of big men drew fouls on command. Michigan's 7'1" center/ogre Jon Teske fouled out in just 13 minutes, Isaiah Livers (4 fouls) was a non-factor off the bench*, and even freshman wünderkind Iggy Brazdeikis was cowed on the defensive end after three fouls.
*So was the rest of the Michigan bench, mind you; they finished a combined 0-for-7 from the field for... [checking math with an impossibly large abacus] ...zero points.
With the Wolverines needing to dig deep into the bench, Wieskamp and his teammates struck with—no exaggeration—one of the best runs of the McCaffery era. Here's the scoring from 10:28 to 5:47 of the first half:
- IOWA: Tyler Cook jumper
- IOWA: Ryan Kriener 3-pointer
- IOWA: Ryan Kriener 2-for-2 free throws
- IOWA: Joe Wieskamp layup
- IOWA: Joe Wieskamp layup
- IOWA: Joe Wieskamp dunk
- MICHIGAN: Jordan Poole jumper
- IOWA: Nicholas Baer 2-for-2 free throws
- IOWA: Joe Wieskamp layup and-1
- IOWA: Nicholas Baer 3
Not only is that a 21-2 run against a conference foe, that's a 21-2 run against a team that came into the game ranked first overall in defensive efficiency according to the Ken Pomeroy statistics. And Iowa let the chainsaws sing.
The Hawkeyes never ceded the lead, and aside from a Wolverines run that briefly got Michigan within 54-49, the game was never particularly close. Iowa's defense put the clamps down on the Wolverines in the second half—none of Michigan's guys looked particularly interested in being there during the last 10 minutes—and when the Hawkeyes needed big buckets, they got big buckets:
Even when the Hawkeyes faced full-court pressure from the Wolverines and committed a not-at-all-disconcerting five turnovers in the span of about 90 seconds, Michigan couldn't cut the lead to single digits, and the last few minutes of the game were an easy approach and touch-down at Woodshed International Airport. Thank you for flying Black & Gold Airlines, enjoy your complimentary court storming:
Again: easily Iowa's biggest win of the year, and aside from maybe a trip to Wisconsin in early March, there might not be another opportunity in the regular season for a bigger one. You storm the court when your team beats the daylights out of a Top 5 team. You party all weekend. You move your damn feet and you feel united, baby. This was great.
GO. IOWA. AWESOME.