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2010 Big Ten Tournament First Round Recap

 
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Big Ten Tournament - First Round

(8) Michigan 59, (9) Iowa 52

 
The eighth-seeded Michigan Wolverines advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament with a 59-52 win over 11th seed Iowa on Thursday in Indianapolis.

Junior guard Manny Harris led the Maize and Blue with 22 points.  Senior forward DeShawn Sims added 14.

Iowa freshman point guard Cully Payne poured in a season-high 25 points to lead all scorers.  Payne’s previous high was 18.  Forward Aaron Fuller (10 points, 13 rebounds) was the only other Hawkeye in double figures.

Michigan Wolverines Apparel Harris and Sims took control right away at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.  Harris opened the scoring with a pull-up 3-pointer on Michigan’s second possession, and the Wolverines would never trail after that.  Over the first seven minutes of the game, Harris and Sims combined to score all of Michigan's points as the Wolverines built a 17-6 lead.

Michigan stretched its advantage to 28-13 before a 10-3 Iowa run, bookended by two Payne 3-pointers, closed the gap to nine points at the half.

Payne's three with 15:32 remaining cut Michigan’s lead to 34-30, but 57 seconds later, Zack Novak hit a three - his first basket of the game - to put the Wolverines ahead by seven.

Iowa couldn’t mount a comeback during a sloppy middle portion of the second half, and Michigan cruised to a 16-point lead when Harris hit a pair of free throws with 4:07 to play.

 

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After taking a brief rest, Payne returned to lead the Hawkeyes on an 11-0 run that pulled Iowa to within five.  The Hawkeyes had the ball trailing 57-52 in the final minute, but a sloppy rally ended appropriately when Iowa missed four straight shots – including an open 3-point attempt by leading scorer Matt Gatens – that would have made it a one-possession game.

Payne and forward Aaron Fuller logged 39 minutes each for depth-challenged Iowa.  The Hawkeyes bench scored just two points.

It may seem difficult to find bright spots for Iowa, but Payne was impressive – and for more than just his raw numbers.  The young lefty from Chicago battled through the slop his veteran teammates flung around, and he’ll be stronger for the experience.  Hawkeye fans can take solace in the emergence of a young star.

 

What’s Next

Michigan moves on to face top-seeded Ohio State Friday at noon ET.  If the Wolverines can handle the phenomenal Evan Turner, and if Harris and Sims stay hot, John Beilein’s underachieving team could take a big step toward redeeming itself.

Against the Hawkeyes, Michigan was often too loose with the ball – even in a nearly turnover-free first half – and sometimes relied too much on superior talent to rise and score in traffic.  That won’t fly against the Buckeyes.  Michigan must be much more precise to have a chance on Friday.

 

By: James Lambert
BigTen-fans.com Guest Writer

 

 

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