For a while, it looked like Iowa was going to cruise to a third straight win to open Big Ten play -- Iowa led 43-34 at halftime and led by as many as 17 in the third quarter. Through thirty minutes, they still had a ten-point lead, 62-52. And then the fourth quarter happened. Iowa got blitzed 30-13 by Michigan in the final period... and that was that.
Ally Disterhoft made a layup to put Iowa up 75-74 with 1:51 to play... and those were the last points Iowa would score for the game. Here's a list of Iowa's offensive possessions after that play:
- Peschel turnover
- Davis missed layup, offensive rebound, Kastanek turnover
- Davis missed layup
- Peschel turnover
- Peschel missed three pointer
That's rough. Michigan shot well in the fourth quarter (13/20, 65%), which makes sense -- you don't score 30 points in ten minutes without shooting well -- but it wasn't an insane shooting percentage, either. Iowa shot 6/15 (40%), which is bad, but not completely awful. Iowa did have 5 turnovers in the quarter. Ah, turnovers. I noted that as a potential problem for Iowa in their last two wins, and while they cut the number of giveaways under 20, they still had 17, which led to a lot of Michigan points -- the Wolverines outscored Iowa 26-18 in points off turnovers. It was another bugaboo for Iowa that wound being even more costly in this game -- offensive rebounding. Michigan only had three more offensive boards than Iowa (11 to 8), but Michigan made all those boards count -- they outscored Iowa 20-5 in second chance points, which was killer.
Kelsey Mitchell had a double-double for Michigan (15 points on 7/11 shooting, 11 rebounds) and Katelyn Flaherty led all scorers with 24 points (despite shooting 1/8 from deep; she made 10/12 of her 2-point attempts). Iowa was led by a breakthrough performance from Chase Coley, who put up a team-high 18 points (on 7/10 shooting), 3 rebounds, and 2 blocks in just 20 minutes -- she might need to get more run on the court. Ally Disterhoft had 14 points on 5/9 shooting, along with 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Megan Gustafson provided a nice boost for Iowa off the bench, with 14 points (on 5/6 shooting), 3 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Whitney Jenning had a rough night shooting (8 points on 3/10 shooting), but did have 6 assists and 3 rebounds. Alexa Kastanek, Iowa's 20-point hero against Rutgers, had just 9 points (on 3/8 shooting) but had a team-best 7 rebounds.
Iowa played well enough for 30 minutes to win, but ten bad minutes undid all that. Some of Iowa's bigger concerns -- turnovers, offensive rebounding -- finally came back to bite them. How well Iowa is able to address those issues will be something to watch going forward. Iowa can't afford to let this loss linger, though -- #8 Maryland comes to Carver-Hawkeye Arena (2 PM CT, ESPN2) and Iowa's going to need to be at their very best to get a win over the Terps.