After an impressive non-conference season the Iowa Hawkeyes opened the Big Ten race with a thud. The 14th rated Hawkeyes trailed by 14 after an uninspired opening half asgainst Michigan then failed to convert on a couple of chances late in a 65-63 loss to the Wolverines in Iowa City. Iowa coach Steve Alford says the team was not ready to play to start the game and he says that’s the first time that’s happened. Alford says they came out more ready to play in the second half. Despite being at home the Hawkeyes were a chilly 37-percent from the field and were outworked on the boards as Michigan won the rebounding battle 40-28. Alford says Michigan turned it over 25 times and got a road win, he says that doesn’t happen very often. He says the way they defended and executed the offense was about as poorly as they’ve played all year. Pierre Pierce was fouled on a three point attempt with just over a second remaining but made only one of three foul shots. The Hawks had a chance to take the lead with just over 30-seconds remaining but Greg Brunner drove into the teeth of the Michigan defense and tossed up an ill advised shot. Alford says the play was designed to kick the ball back outside, but Alford says they forced a shot and didn’t execute down the stretch. Iowa is now 12-2 on the season and visits Ohio State on Saturday.
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