Iowa tops Big Ten
Iowa tops Big Ten
Iowa thrashes No. 20 Michigan, remains atop Big Ten
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- After a lackluster start, Iowa (unranked ESPN/USA Today; No. 23 AP) needed something to shake out of its funk. The Hawkeyes found it in Jeff Horner's bloody nose.Horner, Iowa's floor leader, headed to the bench with four minutes left in the first half after colliding at midcourt with Michigan forward Graham Brown.His exit sparked a 12-4 Iowa run to close the first half, and the Hawkeyes poured it on to open the second en route to a 94-66 victory over Michigan (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today; No. 21 AP) Saturday.The 28-point margin is Iowa's biggest ever against the Wolverines and solidified the Hawkeyes' (18-5, 7-2 Big Ten) spot atop the conference."When our leader goes down, we're going to fight," said Adam Haluska, who led the Hawkeyes with 18 points. "The game got aggressive and we had to take it up to another level. And I think we did a great job doing just that."Did they ever.Iowa outscored the Wolverines 24-9 in the first eight minutes of the second half. A pair of free throws by Greg Brunner at the 12:43 mark put Iowa up by 20 points and the Wolverines (16-4, 6-3) never got any closer than 19 the rest of the way.Brunner had 17 points and Horner, who returned a minute after running into Brown, scored 14 points. Iowa shot a season-best 65.3 percent and its 94 points marks a season high.The victory extended the Hawkeyes' school-record home winning streak to 14, with three of the last four victories coming against ranked opponents. Illinois was also 6-2 in the conference entering the weekend and the Illini played Penn State on Saturday night."If you would have told us we were going to beat a Michigan team like that by 28, I would have probably laughed at you," said Brunner, who grabbed a game-high nine rebounds.It was hardly a laughing matter for the Wolverines, however.The loss snapped Michigan's five-game winning streak and the 28-point difference was the most lopsided of the season.Michigan came into the game shooting 47.9 percent, best in the Big Ten. But after leading by as many as eight points early, Michigan's offense unraveled against an Iowa defense that came in holding Big Ten opponents to just 37.9 percent shooting, tops in the conference.The Wolverines shot 41.5 percent overall, but just 32 percent in the second half, including 4-of-12 from behind the 3-point stripe.Daniel Horton led Michigan with 19 points, while Dion Harris had 13 and Courtney Sims 12."I was disappointed in a lot of things about our team," said Michigan coach Tommy Amaker. "As I've said before, a lot of things in this game become contagious, and it certainly was that way for" Iowa.Iowa took control early in the second half behind Haluska's hot hand. During the 24-9 run, Haluska hit three 3-pointers, including completing a four-point play by making a free throw after being knocked to the floor on his second long jumper.The victory ends one of Iowa's most impressive four-game stretches of the season. The Hawkeyes' four-game winning streak includes victories over Indiana, Ohio State and Purdue and provides confidence for a team that plays four of its next five games on the road."We've got big wins. I think we've proven ourselves in that way," said Brunner. "We just have got to make sure that we can get key road wins for contention. We want to win a Big Ten title."Michigan, which last week made its first appearance in the top 25 in eight years, returns home to play Ohio State Thursday then hits the road Saturday against Purdue.
Ya! Thats right my Iowa Hawkeyes are leading the best conference in the NCAA!