ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said this week that if Michigan makes 11 3-point field goals against his team again, the Hawkeyes will be in trouble.
This time the Wolverines made 12.
And it again spelled trouble for Iowa.
Duncan Robinson made half of those 3s and scored 18 points as 22nd-ranked Michigan opened a big first-half lead and rolled to a 74-59 victory over Iowa on Wednesday night at Crisler Center.
The defeat assures the Hawkeyes of finishing the regular season with a losing record for the first time since 2011. They are now 12-16, 3-12 in the Big Ten, with three regular-season games remaining.
The game followed what has become a familiar pattern, with the Hawkeyes falling behind by a large margin in the first half. They were on the short end of a 37-24 score at the break, marking the ninth time in 13 games they have trailed by 10 or more points at halftime.
The biggest problem this time was an erratic offense. Although the Hawkeyes made their first five shots, they mixed in bunches of turnovers to dig themselves a hole.
"You can’t turn it over nine times in, I think, the first nine minutes because what they do is turn those live ball turnovers into points," McCaffery said. "You’ve got to come down and at least get a shot. Then you can get back and get your defense set."
Even after Iowa stemmed the flow of turnovers, Michigan (21-7, 10-5 Big Ten) gradually built its lead by getting three points almost every time down the court while the Hawkeyes were scoring two at a time.
Robinson made three 3-point field goals in the final 8½ minutes of the first half to propel Michigan into a big halftime lead.
"I think especially when he hits the first one, you’ve got to start chasing him off the line, make him pull up, make him drive the ball," McCaffery said.
Robinson then drilled three more 3s in succession in the middle of the second half to put the game out of reach. Iowa never was any closer than eight points at any time in the second half.
"It felt good to make some," Robinson said. "I had some stretches this year where they weren’t falling."
Senior guard Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman added 18 points and seven assists for the Wolverines. Mo Wagner contributed 14 points.
Michigan coach John Beilein was most happy with his team’s defense, which held Iowa to 41.8 percent shooting and forced 16 turnovers in the game. The Wolverines had 13 steals, the most any team has had against the Hawkeyes this season.
The 59 points represent Iowa’s third lowest total of the season.
"This team really can score points like crazy," Beilein said of Iowa. "They’re so young. They have sophomores and freshmen all over the place. This sophomore class they have right now plus that young big kid (Garza), … they’re going to be really good down the road."
Iowa, which has now lost four straight and is 1-9 on the road, was led by freshman Luka Garza with 22 points, a career high for a Big Ten game.
McCaffery credited Garza with playing hard even after the Hawkeyes fell behind by a wide margin.
"He has that rare ability," McCaffery said. "He never takes a possession off. He’s going hard in walk-throughs. That’s just how he’s wired. That’s what you love about him."