College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Even though the Iowa Hawkeyes were ranked #10 when they entered #21 Michigan's Crisler Center on Wednesday night, they had to be aware that the Wolverines had won seven in a row and were yet to be beaten (5-0) in Big Ten play.
After Nik Stauskas dropped 26 points on them en route to a 75-67 Michigan victory, the Hawkeyes understood why the Big Ten is no place for second-best and winning on the road is a tough task.
Stauskas, the 6'6" sophomore who was part of Michigan's Final Four squad last season, matched a career-high in scoring, hitting eight of 14 shots, including four of nine from three-point range, while adding five rebounds, five assists, a steal and a blocked shot.
The Wolverine starters each played a minimum of 32 minutes in the win, with Stauskas leading the pack with 37 minutes of floor time.
Iowa led early, but traded leads with Michigan, until the Wolverines took control with less than four minutes left in the first half. After taking a 38-34 edge into the break, Iowa trailed the rest of the way, coming to within two points on a couple of occasions early in the second half. Michigan eventually edged away by as many as 11 points, but the Hawkeyes cut it to three with 2:34 remaining. Michigan was unfazed, hitting all six of their free throws in the waning minutes for their eighth straight win and a perfect, 6-0, mark in the conference.
Michigan defeated then-#3 Wisconsin on the 18th, 77-70, and will be tested again when they travel to Michigan State to play the 18-1 Spartans this Saturday. Michigan State leads the Big Ten with a 7-0 mark.