Freshman big man Hunter Dickinson impressive as No. 3 Michigan Wolverines easily swat away No. 9 Iowa, 79-57
By NOAH TRISTER
AP Sports Writer
ANN ARBOR — Hunter Dickinson showed early on that he could guard Luka Garza without help.
Then, when Dickinson left the game for a bit with three fouls, his teammates took control.
Dickinson gave Garza fits around the basket, and Franz Wagner scored 21 points to lead No. 3 Michigan to a 79-57 victory over No. 9 Iowa on Thursday night. Garza’s three-point play early in the second half put the Hawkeyes up 37-36 — and drew Dickinson’s third foul. Michigan answered that with a 14-2 run that took place mostly while Dickinson was on the bench.
“All hands on deck,” Wolverines coach Juwan Howard said.
Dickinson more than held his own against Garza in a much-anticipated matchup of two standout big men who have known each other for years. The Wolverines (17-1, 12-1) passed yet another test against a highly ranked opponent, and they look increasingly alone atop the Big Ten, where every other team has at least four conference losses.
Garza led the Hawkeyes (17-7, 11-6) with 16 points, but he shot 6 of 19 from the field. The 7-foot-1 Dickinson, who like Garza went to high school in the Washington area, blocked Garza’s first shot attempt. Even when Garza got the ball in good position, he had a hard time scoring consistently.
“I know I’ve got to be better for my team,” Garza said. “For some reason, there was just a lid on the rim for me tonight.”
Michigan became the first team to hold the Hawkeyes under 65 points all season.
The Wolverines led 32-29 at halftime, then went on their run after Dickinson’s third foul. Dickinson returned to cap that run with a layup that made it 50-39.
“Tonight was a battle,” Dickinson said. “I’m still tired after that game.”
Isaiah Livers scored 16 points for the Wolverines. Dickinson added 14 in addition to all his fine defensive work.