By Dallas Jones
IOWA CITY, IOWA – After back to back losses by double digits on the road, a Sunday afternoon matchup with Michigan looked to be a chance for Iowa to get back into the win column.
Before last week, Iowa was averaging almost 90 points a game and leading the conference in scoring. After posting 68 and 65 in their following games, it seems that this talented young team is still looking for a identify on offense and in general.
Spoiler alert, this would not be a the game they would figure it out. A third straight double digit loss and they drop their first two conference games of the season. Check out how it happened below.
1st half: While returning home from a road trip usually would lead to a rise in your offensive numbers, especially jump shooting, that was not the case for the Hawkeyes Sunday.
Fran McCaffery switched his starting lineup once again, plugging Freshman bigman Owen Freeman into the lineup. Freeman was been a spark off the bench so far this season, but struggled to get the Hawkeye offense going in the first half.
Iowa was 7/19 (36.8%) from the field and 1/7 (14.3%) from three through the first twelve minutes of the game.
In that time, Owen Freeman picked up second foul with over nine and a half minutes left in the first half.
On the other side of the ball, Iowa looked much more energized and physical than we lost saw. They held the wolverines to 12/30 (40%) from the field and 3/12 (25%) from three, while forcing seven turnovers.
Still, if they wanted to win, they needed to turn things around on offense as they trailed 35-33 at the break.
2nd half: The run Iowa needed did not come at the begging of the half as the Hawkeyes had to call a timeout just three and a half minutes into the half during the middle of a 11-0 Wolverine run. In that span Iowa missed four straight shots with their starting unit.
The lead stretched all the way to 20 before the under-12 timeout, during that time Head Coach Fran McCaffery was ejected for earning himself two technical fouls in a matter of minutes arguing calls.
Iowa immediately responds to the ejection with a quick 8-2 run to cut the lead to 14. That lead would not drop below 14 or rise above 20 for the next eight minutes.
Unfortunately, the Hawkeyes current offensive woes were just too much to handle. Even when they were getting stops in the second half, they had an over four minutes stretch where they did not make a single field goal.
At the 3:52 remaining mark, Iowa sat just 1/15 (6.7%) from three and 21/54 (38.4%) from the field overall.
Now the Hawkeyes look ahead they have three non-conference games from now until the end of 2023. They will look to build up the offense that started off hot this year, before starting the new year off in Madison, visiting the Badgers.
See everything Coach McCaffery and others had to say postgame here: