March 19, 2018

Hawkeye Win After Epic Comeback

13 January 2018, 03:46 | Sandy Nunez

Illinois loses by 7 Iowa in Overtime - Recap, Box score

Illinois Falls to Iowa in Overtime

It looked for 20 minutes like Thursday night was going to be yet another frustrating, pound-your-head-against-a-wall game for the Iowa men's basketball team. At one point, IL had a 20-point lead and led 54-41 at halftime.

The Hawkeyes immediately got back in the game by scoring the first 10 points of the second half, the last six on a pair of 3s by Baer and Bohannon.

IL needed a miracle to get the game to overtime and got one when Trent Frazier hit a body-twisting, off-balance 3 from in front of the Illini bench as time expired. However, the Hawkeyes got after it on defense and Luka Garza had a breakout performance to help them outlast IL 104-97 in overtime for its first conference win. Jordan Bohannon, Tyler Cook, and Luke Garza combined for 68 points and every Iowa starter scored in double figures. The Hawkeyes were 33 of 40 from the free throw line.

Despite Fraizer's big shot, the Hawkeyes had the rhythm, the Illini did not.

It will be a battle between Big 10 opponents when the Illinois Fighting Illini (10-7, 0-4 Big 10) welcome the Iowa Hawkeyes (9-9, 0-5 Big 10) to State Farm Center. The sophomore forward scored 5 points, but his 2 offensive rebounds in limited action injected life into Iowa's offense. Frazier led IL with 27 points. The biggest comeback was 22 points, also against IL in 1987.

FYI: Fighting the flu Saturday at Michigan, Black's seven-point scoring effort was the first time since November 17 he didn't hit double digits playing a full game for the Illini.

In the overtime period, Iowa took control of the game and made sure IL would not come back again. We gave up 63 points in the second half and overtime.

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The comeback from a 20-point margin is the second largest ever by an Iowa team on the road. Iowa won 104-97 in overtime. The Hawkeyes trailed by 23 points (38-15) with 13 seconds remaining in the first half in an eventual 65-56 win over Gardner-Webb in 2012 and trailed by 22 points (61-39) with 16 minutes left at IL in 1987 in a 91-88 overtime triumph.

Four players are averaging at least 9.6 points per game for Illini, they are: Leron Black (14.3), Michael Finke (10.6), Aaron Jordan (9.9) and Trent Frazier (9.6) per game.

It would have been easy for Iowa to mail it in in the second half. Garza finished with a double-double. But less than three minutes into the second half, the Hawkeyes changed that tune with emphasis. He had 19 points and 11 rebounds and was huge down the stretch. "When Luka came in, he came in with energy and confidence". The Hawkeyes committed 31 turnovers but overcame those miscues with sharp shooting from Kent McCausland, who sank five 3-pointers.

Iowa forced IL into committing 31 fouls and four Illini players fouled out in the contest.

Next for the Hawkeyes is a trip to Louis Brown Athletic Center to face Rutgers on January 17. Pace tallied a career-high 18 points. He had played well up until that point, and he was looking for the opportunity.

In the Hawkeyes' last outing, they were thoroughly outplayed by the Maryland Terrapins, 91-73.

IL ranks 34th in steals per game (8.0) while Iowa ranks 162nd (5.4).

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