No longer winless in the Big Ten, Iowa needed a dominant second-half offensive effort and a healthy dose of free throws and rebounding to take down IL in overtime.
Led by Jordan Bohannon's 29 points, the Hawkeyes battled back from a 20-point deficit to pick up their first Big 10 win of the season, 104-97, in overtime tonight at IL.
Iowa (10-9) and IL (10-8) clashed in Champaign on the evening of January 11 in a battle of winless teams in Big Ten play. Unlike Iowa, Fighting Illini games have a tendency to go under the projected point total (69.2 percent).
The buzz-beater didn't faze Iowa, as the team took control by scoring the first nine points of OT.
F Tyler Cook So.
Sophomore guard Jordan Bohannon paced the Hawkeyes (10-9, 1-5) with 29 points, one shy of his career-high. Iowa, which outrebounded the Illini 45-26, ran away with it in overtime while IL fouled, turned the ball over and waved at rebounds Iowa controlled. The Hawkeyes knocked down shots at a 50 percent rate, and the Illini shot 48.6 percent. Iowa outrebounded the Illini 45-26, including 20-9 in the second half, and outscored IL 33-11 from the free throw line.
Last meeting: IL won 70-66 on February 18, 2017, in Iowa City, Iowa, to complete the season sweep.
The Hawkeyes' comeback win over the Illini in 1987 also went into overtime.
Iowa coach Fran McCaffrey said Iowa started to find its way even before the 10-0 burst. They came after him a year ago and they came after him again. Jennifer Nehls neared a double-double as she was the fourth Panther to reach double-figures with 10 points and eight rebounds.
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On Jan. 2, 2016, Iowa rallied from 19 points down with 2:21 left in the first half to stun Purdue 70-63 at Mackey Arena. Coming into the second half, they were down by 13 points, 54-41. Iowa led 4-2 in the infant stages of the game before the Fighting Illini reeled off a 13-0 run to take a 15-4 advantage.
In the Hawkeyes' last outing, they were thoroughly outplayed by the Maryland Terrapins, 91-73.
"It was a manageable number at halftime, that was important", said McCaffery.
"We were really good in the first half and that was fun to watch".
IL tried to overcome a number of obstacles, including a suspension and the flu, and appeared to be well on its way as it built a 49-29 lead with just under four minutes to play in the first half.
Iowa opened the second half on a 10-0 run, capped by a Baer and Bohannon 3-pointer to cut the deficit to three points. Garza made two free throws with 4.9 seconds left to give the Hawkeyes a 90-87 cushion, but Frazier dribbled up the right side and threw in the tying shot as the horn sounded.
Frazier led IL with 27 points, while Leron Black and Aaron Jordan added 18 points each. He had 18 3-pointers in 17 games heading into Thursday's contest.
It was Iowa's second-largest road comeback in program history.
Meanwhile, Ryan Kriener sparked Iowa in the second half off the bench.
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"It didn't start in the second half", he said.
The Washingon, D.C., native scored 17 of his 19 points in second half and overtime and he grabbed six more rebounds to finish off his third double-double of the season.
Garza scored 13 of his 19 points in the last five minutes of regulation and in overtime as the Hawkeyes showed tremendous resilience.
Cook said he looked around at his teammates' eyes in the huddle prior to the overtime period and knew the game was in hand. "When Luka came in, he came in with energy and confidence".
Harris took encouragement from the play of the SIUE reserves, who accounted for 31 points, or 18 more than Belmont's substitutes. "That spurt was huge for us and him".
Iowa pulled even 66-66 but the Illini edged back ahead until Iowa tied it again, 79-79, with 5:41 to play.
The Hawkeyes had 17 offensive rebounds, turning them into 18 second-chance points.
Iowa's 104 points are its most in a Big Ten game since 1995 against Northwestern (W, 116-77). Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. (CT) in Piscataway, New Jersey.
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