IOWA CITY, Iowa – Michigan coach Juwan Howard has seen enough of Iowa's Luka Garza this season.
Garza scored 33 points in Iowa’s 90-83 win over No. 19 Michigan on Friday night.
Howard, the first-year coach of the Wolverines, knew nothing about Garza before the season. But after this game, and the 44-point effort the center had against Michigan in Iowa’s 103-91 loss in December, Howard knows plenty.
“Very skilled basketball player,” Howard said. “He’s proven that he’s one of the best college basketball players in the country. All the work that he’s put in is definitely paying off for him.”
Garza enjoyed hearing Howard's compliments.
“That means the world to me to have a coach like that talk about me,” Garza said.
Garza, the Big Ten’s scoring leader, was 10 of 18 from the field and 11 of 13 from the line. He drew 12 fouls from the Wolverines, which was his plan all along.
“I was able to get low post position, get those guys in foul trouble,” Garza said. “They’ve got so many bigs to rotate at me. I just tried to get them all in foul trouble, soften (the defense) for me, make them go back a little bit.”
Iowa was 27 of 30 from the line, while Michigan was just 4 of 5, numbers that Howard recited after the game.
Howard, who had gotten a technical foul early in the second half, was asked if that was frustrating.
“Yes it is,” he said. “It’s very frustrating. I think that was the reason why I got the tech.”
CJ Fredrick had 21 points, Joe Wieskamp 20, and Ryan Kriener came off the bench to score 14 for the Hawkeyes.
Iowa (13-5, 4-3 Big Ten), which led by as many as 11 points in the first half, trailed 72-65 with 9:42 to play before going on a 13-2 run that included seven points by Garza and two 3-pointers by Fredrick. That came after Michigan had gone on a 17-4 run.
“We didn’t want to go out that way,” Garza said. “We wanted to get some stops and put together some good possessions offensively. Once we locked in on the defensive end, and put some baskets together, we were right back in it.”
“We seemed to be a little tired,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. “We got the stops we needed. We were moving the ball, moving the ball, moving the ball. I thought CJ made some big shots.”
Eli Brooks broke out of a shooting slump to lead Michigan (11-6, 2-4) with 25 points. Brooks, who had scored just 15 points in the last three games while making just 1 of 14 3-pointers, was 9 of 17 from the field and 5 of 11 from long range.
Franz Wagner scored 18 points, Jon Teske had 14 points and David DeJulius 10 for Michigan.
Michigan: The Wolverines, like everyone else in the Big Ten, have struggled on the road. They have lost three of their last four games, all on the road.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes are on a three-game winning streak, with home games against Rutgers and Wisconsin up next.
Michigan: The Wolverines’ current skid could drop them out of the poll.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes were the first team among those receiving votes in last week’s poll. They should move back into the rankings with this win and Tuesday’s road win against Northwestern.
Michigan forward Isaiah Livers was in uniform, but missed his fifth consecutive game with a groin injury.
Livers is second in scoring for the Wolverines at 13.6 points per game.
Michigan plays at home against Penn State on Wednesday.
Iowa plays at home against Rutgers on Wednesday.
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