IOWA CITY, Iowa – In his 38th season as a collegiate basketball coach, John Beilein knows a good team when he sees one.
Michigan’s head coach saw one one on Sunday. Unfortunately for Beilein, it wasn’t his team.
Iowa used a balanced attack that included four players scoring in double figures to defeat the Wolverines 82-71 before an announced attendance of 15,400 at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
The Hawkeyes improved to 5-0 in the Big Ten and 14-3 overall, while Michigan fell to 3-2 in the conference and 13-5 overall.
Iowa and Indiana are the only Big Ten teams still undefeated in conference play.
"I’ve been in the league a few years now, not at many as some, but more than others and Iowa has got a really good basketball team," Beilein said. "They’ve got some things that a lot of teams would love to have. They’ve got four seniors. They’ve got a heck of a junior who has just stayed the course."
Beilein was referring to Iowa’s four senior starters and junior sharpshooter Peter Jok. Senior forward Jarrod Uthoff led Iowa with 23 points on Sunday, while Jok contributed 16 points, including four 3-point baskets.
Beilein compared Jok to former Michigan star Tim Hardaway Jr., who now plays in the NBA.
"We didn’t worry about him when he was a freshman," Beilein said of the 6-foot-6 Jok. "And now all of the sudden he’s Tim Hardaway the third out there. He getting all kinds of good stuff and good looks and they’ve become a good team."
Iowa also used four players off the bench who combined for 22 points and six rebounds. Sophomore forward Dom Uhl led the Iowa reserves with 10 points in 20 minutes of playing time.
The 6-9 Uhl has made 9-of-11 3-point shots in five Big Ten games this season. He made both of his attempts on Sunday.
Uhl also was among six of Iowa’s nine players who saw action on Sunday that didn’t commit a turnover in the game. Iowa only had four turnovers as a team, while Michigan had 13.
"I think what’s really separating them right now is the bench play," Beilein said of Iowa. "They have guys coming off the bench that can make plays as well.
"They were a better team than us tonight without question."
Iowa had several scoring runs during Sunday’s game, including a 12-0 flurry in the second half that came with Uthoff on the bench for nearly 7 minutes.
"They brought a lot of energy," Uthoff said of the Iowa bench. "They were fantastic."
Freshman forward Ahmad Wagner had one of his better performances as a Hawkeye, scoring five points and grabbing three rebounds in 11 minutes. He also drew praise from Iowa coach Fran McCaffery for his defensive effort.
"I couldn’t be more proud of Ahmad Wagner right now, he played like a veteran," McCaffery said. "Defensively, he was always over the place and when you’re in the five spot and in a zone you have to be the guy that’s communicating. And that’s what he did.
"But he also played with the necessary activity level that you need against a team that spreads you out and shoots threes the way they do. When you play Michigan, the way they execute their offense, the way they move the ball, and the multiple three-point shooters they have, they’re never out of the game. So you can’t ever let up defensively."
The 6-foot-7 Wagner has shown that he can guard post players or quicker players on the perimeter. He spent much of his time on Sunday defending 6-6 Zak Irvin, who only made 3-of-8 field-goal attempts.
"I can guard guards or bigs and coach knows that I can bring some versatility on defense," Wagner said. "I’m able to bang or guard perimeter players. So it’s helpful."
Iowa bolted to an 11-0 lead as four different players scored during the initial flurry. Iowa also led 20-8 before Michigan started to chip away at the deficit with what turned into a 13-0 scoring run.
The Wolverines were leading 21-20 when Wagner made a basket with 7 minutes, 8 seconds left in the first half. Uthoff followed with a conventional 3-point play and senior point guard Mike Gesell made a basket to expand Iowa’s lead to 27-21 with 5:18 remaining in the first half.
The Wolverines narrowed the gap to 29-26, but Iowa answered with six consecutive points, highlighted by 7-1 center Adam Woodbury’s breakaway dunk.
Freshman forward Nicholas Baer also made a key jumper with 48 seconds left in the first half, expanding Iowa’s lead to 38-31.
Michigan outscored Iowa 16-9 during the first five minutes of the second half and led 49-47 when Irvin made a conventional 3-point play with 15:24 remaining.
Iowa then outscored the Wolverines 16-3 during a six-minute stretch in which Uthoff was mostly on the bench.
Jok and senior guard Anthony Clemmons both made 3-point baskets to trigger the rally. Clemmons made his with 9;29 remaining, giving Iowa a 60-52 lead.
"Everybody is just shot ready and everybody is in attack mode," Clemmons said. "So that makes it a lot easier for everybody to get good shots."
Clemmons was on the floor with Baer, Wagner and Uhl when Iowa made its final run to secure the victory. Clemmons was asked if he was surprised that Iowa made the run with mostly reserves on the floor.
"Not at all," he said. "You have to be ready with whoever you have on the floor. Our bench helped us. Our bench gave us all confidence."
Michigan played its fourth consecutive game without star guard Caris LeVert because of a leg injury.
Iowa will play its next game against Rutgers on Thursday in Piscataway, N.J. Rutgers is winless in Big Ten play.