IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- Daniel Horton returned from a six-game
absence and made an immediate impact for Michigan.
Returning to the court after missing six games with a knee
injury, Horton scored 13 points, handed out two assists and
provided key leadership down the stretch to help Michigan beat Iowa 65-63 on Wednesday night.
Horton didn't start, but entered the game midway through the
first half and promptly hit his first shot, a nifty turnaround
jumper from the top of the key.
"I just wanted to come in and contribute, and I guess I came in
and ... gave the team a shot in the arm, but that wasn't my goal,"
said Horton, who strained a knee in practice Dec. 5.
"It felt good to get a big win on the road and to get back out
there and play. Its a good feeling right now for everybody."
The victory is the third straight for the Wolverines (9-5, 1-0
Big Ten) and snapped the Hawkeyes' nine game winning streak -- but
it wasn't easy.
The Wolverines led most of the way but had to fight off a fierce
second-half rally to beat Iowa for the third time in the last four
The Hawkeyes (12-2, 0-1) squandered several chances to tie or
take the lead in the final minute.
Pierre Pierce, who led Iowa with 15 points, was fouled by Dion
Harris on a 3-point attempt with 1.6 seconds to go, but missed the
first of three free throws.
Greg Brunner, Adam Haluska and Jeff Horner each finished with
14, but the Hawkeyes (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today; No. 14 AP) struggled all night with shooting, rebounding
and capitalizing on Michigan's 25 turnovers.
Iowa entered the game as one of the league's top shooting teams,
but hit just 37.3 percent from the floor, 25 percent from behind
the 3-point line and missed several free throws down the stretch.
"Obviously a frustrating way to start our Big Ten season,"
said Iowa coach Steve Alford. "It's my responsibility to make sure
the team was ready, and they obviously weren't ready. I take full
responsibility for that."
The Wolverines were led by Brent Petway, who scored 14 points
and blocked four shots. Harris added 12 points, including three
early 3-pointers that helped Michigan build a big first half lead.
Courtney Sims added 10 points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
After fighting back from a 44-30 halftime deficit, Horner hit a
3-pointer that tied the score at 59, the first tie since the 10:04
mark in the first half. Moments later, Horner hit another 3-pointer
to cut Michigan's lead to 63-62 with 32.4 seconds left.
On the ensuing possession, Iowa forced a turnover when Sims
failed to inbound the ball in time. But the Hawkeyes wasted the
opportunity when Brunner missed a short pull-up jumper.
Wolverine guard John Andrews picked up the loose ball, was
fouled, and hit both free throws to put Michigan up 65-62 with 25.9
seconds to go.
On Iowa's next trip down the floor, Brunner hurried and missed a
3-pointer. Horton grabbed the rebound, was fouled, but missed both
free throws, setting up one last chance for the Hawkeyes.
"I can't say enough about the toughness that our kids showed,
especially down the stretch," said Michigan coach Tommy Amaker,
who has lost three key players to injury this season.