The Hawkeyes dug themselves a gaping hole on the scoreboard again Thursday night, but staged a frenetic second-half comeback and then dominated in overtime on their way to their first Big Ten victory, a 104-97 conquest of a determined IL team at State Farm Arena. Iowa improves to 10-9 and 1-5 in the Big Ten.
IL isn't particularly tall at an average of 6-foot-5, but averages 208 pounds across the board.
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.
Iowa (9-9, 0-5 Big Ten) dropped a pair of games to IL (10-7, 0-4) a year ago.
Iowa shot 50 percent from the field for the game, making 32-of-64 field goals. Bohannon went 10-10 at the free throw line, as the Hawks hit for 33 of 40 from the line. It was Bohannon's second-highest point total this season and his highest in the Big Ten game. "He was ready this time". Cook finished with 21 points - on 9-of-14 shooting - and 13 rebounds, while Garza had 19 points and 11 rebounds. The sophomore went 5 of 12 from 3-point range, but none were bigger than that one. Iowa trailed by 20 points tonight with 3:53 left in the first half. 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.
"Frazier is quite a player", McCaffery said. "We were down 20 in the first half, but we weren't down 20 at halftime".
During their last five games, the Fighting Illini have scored an average of 67.4 points per game (11.5 below their season average) and allowed an average of 70.4 points per game (0.1 below their season average). Think about that. Sixty-three points.More news: Pistons, Jazz interested in Bulls forward Nikola Mirotic
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Frazier paced IL with 27 points, making 10-of-20 field goals, including seven 3-pointers.
It is the third time in school history that Iowa has rallied from a 20-point deficit to win. The Hawkeyes outscored the Illini 49-36 in the second twenty minutes.
Alex Wittinger had 20 points and 13 rebounds for IL (9-9, 0-4), which has lost five straight.
"It didn't start in the second half, " McCaffery added. McCaffery said after the game. He's not a huge threat from outside, but the offense will flow through him. Michigan's 0.373 free throw rate was their biggest advantage over IL, who had a rate of 0.214. Iowa, meanwhile, did a terrific job of making free throws (17-22; 77.3 percent).
IL plays at Nebraska on Monday.
Iowa had more second-chance points with 18, compared to Illinois' 16.
Iowa committed 17 turnovers in the game, but only six came in the second half and in overtime.