ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Jordan Morgan kept Michigan (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 AP) out of trouble when the Wolverines seemed likely to fall into some.
In their first game since a loss at Virginia, Morgan scored 16 points and proved to be a problem Iowa State couldn't solve, helping Michigan beat the Cyclones 76-66 Saturday."These are tricky games, because we're trying to get ourselves ready for the Big Ten season, but we've also got to go out and win these games," Tim Hardaway Jr. said. "Jordan had a big game inside today, and that helped us a lot. When he takes that much defensive attention, it opens up a lot of shots for the guards."Hardaway added 19 points in the first game between the schools since Johnny Orr left Iowa State in 1994. Orr remains the winningest coach in Michigan history, with 209 wins between 1969-80, and at Iowa State, with 218 victories starting in 1981."That's a quality win," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "We are going to play a lot of teams this season that can shoot 3-pointers, but we aren't going to play many teams that can get back into a game as fast as Iowa State."Many of Orr's victories with the Cyclones came with Fred Hoiberg on the floor, but the 39-year-old is now in his second season as Iowa State's coach."We started out the game defending well, but we let them get on a streak where they made 11 straight shots in the second half," Hoiberg said. "We were playing like five individuals instead of as a team."The teams entered the game with identical 5-2 records. Michigan, though, lost to Duke and Virginia, while Iowa State has been beaten by Northern Iowa and Drake.The Cyclones led by six in the opening five minutes, but Trey Burke scored the next eight points. Michigan controlled the game after that, handing Iowa State their second straight defeat.Burke finished with 13 points for Michigan, but only had two in the second half."Points aren't something that I worry about," the freshman point guard said. "My job is to keep my teammates involved in the game. If I get shots and I get points, they are going to have come in the flow of the game. Today, there was that stretch where they did."Royce White had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Cyclones, while former Michigan State Spartan Chris Allen added 11 -- all in the second half."Coming back here wasn't that big of a deal -- the fans said and did pretty much exactly what I expected," Allen said. "We just needed to start fighting earlier in the game. It's about communication on the floor, and we got away from that."The Cyclones were close for most of the first half, but Eso Akunne's 3-pointer kicked off a 13-2 run that put the Wolverines up 34-25 at the half.Morgan's three-point play early in the second half expanded the margin to 44-31, and the Wolverines continued to pull away for most of the final period.Michigan led 68-50 with five minutes to play, but didn't score again until the final 45 seconds. Iowa State cut the deficit to six, causing Wolverines coach John Beilein to call several timeouts, but Michigan made enough free throws to hold on."We're a young team," Morgan said. "We're playing a lot of sophomores, and we've got a freshman point guard, so we've still got a lot of things to learn. Coach got frustrated with us, but we kept going and finished off the game."