ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Nik Stauskas scored 26 points, and No. 21 Michigan held off No. 10 Iowa 75-67 on Wednesday night to remain unbeaten in the Big Ten.
The Wolverines (14-4, 6-0) have won eight straight to set up a showdown in East Lansing on Saturday night with rival Michigan State, the Big Ten’s only other unbeaten team in conference play.
Aaron White scored 14 of Iowa’s points in a row down the stretch, but it wasn’t enough to rally the Hawkeyes (15-4, 4-2) from an 11-point deficit.
White and Melsahn Basabe scored 17 points each for Iowa. Glenn Robinson III had 14 points for Michigan and Jordan Morgan added 12.
Third-ranked Michigan State (18-1, 7-0) will bring an 11-game winning streak into Saturday’s game. It will be the first time Michigan and Michigan State have ever met with both teams at 6-0 or better in Big Ten play, according to STATS.
The Spartans will be the third straight top-10 opponent for Michigan, which beat then-No. 3 Wisconsin on Saturday. The win over Iowa gave the Wolverines back-to-back victories over top-10 teams – without any games in between – for the first time since the Fab Five beat No. 5 North Carolina and No. 2 Kansas in succession in December of 1992, according to STATS.
The Wolverines are without star big man Mitch McGary, who is out indefinitely with a back injury, but they matched the tall Hawkeyes at 10 offensive rebounds. Iowa committed 14 turnovers and couldn’t shoot well enough to make up for it. The Hawkeyes equaled their lowest-scoring game of the season.
Stauskas made his first four shots, and Michigan led 38-34 at halftime. The Wolverines went on a quick run early in the second half: Stauskas made a 3-pointer from the left corner, Robinson drove for a dunk, and Spike Albrecht stepped in front of the ensuing inbound pass for a steal and a quick basket that made it 54-43.
Albrecht started in place of freshman Derrick Walton, who had been bothered by the flu and was limited to three minutes. Albrecht, whose became a household name with his big first half in last season’s national title game against Louisville, had seven points, seven assists and four steals Wednesday.
Michigan freshman Zak Irvin made a 3-pointer and a layup to put the Wolverines ahead 62-51. Then White scored seven straight points. Devyn Marble missed a 3-pointer that would have cut the deficit to one, but it was 67-64 after a dunk by White.
With a Michigan possession seemingly going nowhere, Albrecht found Robinson behind the defense for an alley-oop layup to push the lead to five and help the Wolverines hold on.