Iowa had to travel to Ann Arbor to face #4 ranked Michigan on Friday in their conference opener and as previously discussed, came up on the short end of the 103-91 score.
Michigan has the length and athleticism to keep Iowa from getting hot from deep, and in fact, kept them from getting many opportunities. One thing Michigan couldn’t stop though was Luka Garza.
Without even hitting a three-pointer, Garza scored 44 points on the night on 17-32 shooting. Garza also hit 10 of his 13 free throws. Unfortunately the only other Hawkeye to score in double digits was Connor McCaffery who added 12 points. Without outside scoring, Iowa will not be able to keep up with dynamic teams like the Wolverines.
Garza, barring an injury, probably already did enough to make an All-Big Ten team. He’s now averaging over 22 points per game on the season and if he can continue that pace, he will put his name all over the Hawkeye record book. Tonight’s effort also pushed Garza pass the 1,000 points scored plateau.
Garza almost got to his career high of 30 points from earlier this year against Oral Roberts in the first half when he had 27 points. His 44 point output was the most by a visitor in Crisler Arena, surpassing the 39 scored by Dennis Hopson in 1987 and surpassed only by Michigan’s Rudy Tomjanovich who scored 48 in 1969.
Not enough can be said for the work that Garza has put into his game since coming to Iowa. His desire and effort are fun to watch, some may say he’s one of the most fun to watch in a long time for the Hawkeyes.
Garza and the Hawkeyes will try to get back in the win column when they host Minnesota on Monday night.
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