ANN ARBOR, MI – Franz Wagner and No. 4 Michigan rebounded from their first loss of the season with quite an offensive turnaround.
From 43 points to 103.
Wagner led a balanced scoring effort with 18 points, and the Wolverines opened Big Ten play with a 103-91 victory over Iowa on Friday night, overcoming 44 points by Luka Garza. Michigan bounced back from its 58-43 loss to top-ranked Louisville on Tuesday night. In fact, the Wolverines exceeded their point total from Tuesday before halftime against Iowa.
“We're a good offensive team. I think we have a lot of weapons," Wagner said. “I think just the overall pace of the game, too. Iowa is a really fast team."
Garza scored 27 points in the first half, including 15 of Iowa's first 17.
“I’d most certainly rather have the ‘W.' They tried to game plan to kind of just stay out on the shooters and kind of let me go 1-on-1," Garza said. “If you go 1-on-1 with me, I’m just going to just try to get to the basket and score as much as I can."
It was the defensive end that prevented the Hawkeyes (6-3, 0-1) from winning this one. Jon Teske and Zavier Simpson added 16 points each for Michigan (8-1, 1-0), which had six players with at least 12.
Garza set a record for the most points by an opposing player at Michigan's Crisler Center, breaking the mark of 39 by Ohio State's Dennis Hopson in 1987. Connor McCaffery was the only other Iowa player in double figures with 12 points.
“Garza is a very talented ballplayer," Wolverines coach Juwan Howard said. “Very crafty in the low block, very smart in how he uses angles, excellent footwork, can shoot the ball from outside. We knew we would have our hands full with Garza, but I love the fact that our guys took the challenge. No one got discouraged when he was making shots."
Michigan led 50-38 at halftime. Teske picked up his fourth foul with 11:17 remaining and Michigan up 74-61. Iowa cut the lead to seven, but Austin Davis, a backup big man for the Wolverines, contributed a layup and two dunks in a span of about a minute to help keep the Hawkeyes at bay.
Iowa: It was an impressive individual performance from Garza, who went right at the 7-foot-1 Teske early on and showed he could score consistently against a tough opponent. The rest of the Hawkeyes picked up the pace offensively in the second half, but no matter what they tried defensively — and they tried plenty of different approaches — it was no use.
Joe Wieskamp and CJ Fredrick combined for only 13 points.
“I'm thrilled that Luka got 44, but it falls on me," coach Fran McCaffery said. “I've got to get Joe and CJ more shots."
Michigan: The Wolverines were sharp in responding to their first loss of the season, and there were plenty of contributors. Reserve forward Brandon Johns Jr. scored 10 points in the first half, and Davis filled in impressively when Teske was saddled with fouls.
QUITE A NIGHT
Only one player has scored more points at Crisler than Garza did in this game. Michigan's Rudy Tomjanovich had 48 in a 1969 game against Indiana.
Garza also easily surpassed his career high of 30 from last month against Oral Roberts.
A lot was expected of Wagner this season, but the freshman missed the first four games with a broken wrist. This was easily his highest-scoring game yet.
Wagner's alley-oop dunk with just more than a minute to play put Michigan over the 100-point mark.
“Every game, feel better out there," Wagner said. “Takes a little bit of time, obviously."
Michigan might drop after its loss earlier in the week, but this impressive showing on offense takes some of the sting out of that tough night at Louisville.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes host Minnesota on Monday night.
Michigan: The Wolverines play at Illinois on Wednesday night.
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