Michigan pulled off their second straight road win on Tuesday night when they knocked off Iowa in overtime 80-78. The Hawkeyes seemingly had the game in hand with 1:28 to play and a 61-57 lead. However, DeShawn Sims put the Wolverines on his back and carried them to an overtime session. He converted back-to-back three-point plays on shots in the paint. Then with Michigan trailing 66-63 and just 7 seconds left on the clock the senior forward drained a clutch triple to force the extra session.
Manny Harris began overtime by drilling a three-ball as the shot clock expired. Iowa briefly took control in overtime and was clinging to a 72-70 lead when Stu Douglass buried a key triple that put Michigan back on top. On the next possession Sims nailed a clutch jumper with Andrew Brommer in his face. Laval Lucas-Perry knocked down 4 of 4 from the charity stripe in the final minute and Michigan held off the Hawkeyes.
The Wolverines dodged an incredible performance by Aaron Fuller, who scored 30 points on 11-13 shooting and also grabbed 13 rebounds. Matt Gatens chipped in 21 points for the Hawkeyes and was 5-7 from downtown.
I was really impressed and encouraged by the resiliency the Wolverines showed when they were down late in regulation and in overtime. The story of the game was DeShawn Sims. He scored 9 points in the final 1:09 of regulation to single-handedly force the overtime. The three-pointer he hit to force OT and the jumper he hit over Brommer in the extra session were cold-blooded shots. He imposed his will on the outcome of the game. The other positive is that when he needed some help from his teammates, he got it. Whether it was Manny Harris, who flirted with a triple double, tallying 20 points, 10 boards, and 7 assists, or Stu Douglass drilling that huge three in overtime, or LLP calmly sinking 4 free throws in the final 31 seconds, he wasn’t left to do it all on his own.
Lucas-Perry was also big in the first half when he connected on 3-4 from beyond the arc. He finished the game with 13 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Michigan was outstanding for the second straight game from long distance as they went 14-27 (52%) from three-point range.
The win bumps the Wolverines back over the .500 mark at 13-12 and they are now 6-7 in the Big Ten. They really showed something by coming up with these 2 road wins and now head home to face Penn State and Illinois in the next week. Could they come out of that stretch and head to Ohio State with a 15-12, 8-7 record? The answer is yes, they absolutely could. They have played very well at home this year and have started showing signs of life in the last few weeks. Somehow, someway, they just have to keep winning games and see what happens.