Iowa needs overtime to take down Illinois for first Big Ten win

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 Illinois in overtime.


The Daily Iowan; Photos by Josep

Iowa forward Luka Garza reacts after drawing a foul during an Iowa/Ohio State men's basketball game in Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018. The Buckeyes defeated the Hawkeyes, 92-81. (Joseph Cress/The Daily Iowan)

Adam Hensley, [email protected]

Something had to give.

Iowa (10-9) and Illinois (10-8) clashed in Champaign on the evening of Jan. 11 in a battle of winless teams in Big Ten play.

The Hawkeyes came out on top in overtime, 104-97, for their first conference win of the season.

Down by 20 at one point late in the first half, Iowa battled back with a 12-5 run to end the first half and a 10-0 stretch to begin the second. The Hawkeyes made a living at the free-throw line — 33 of their 40 attempts from the stripe — and that was a huge difference-maker when capitalizing on the Illini zone defense.

Iowa also came up huge in the paint. The Hawkeyes grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, leading to plenty of second-chance points — 18 to be exact.

Overall, the Black and Gold out-rebounded Illinois by 19 (45-26).

Iowa, after giving up 54 points in the first half, only allowed 36 and 7 in the second half and overtime, respectively.

As far as scoring went, the starters did almost all the damage. Jordan Bohannon exploded for 29 points (5 3-pointers and a perfect 10-for-10 at the free-throw line), Tyler Cook added 21 points and 13 rebounds, and Luka Garza scored 19 and snagged 11 rebounds, 7 of which came from the offensive glass, like this clutch shot in overtime.

Isaiah Moss (12 points) and Nicholas Baer (10 points) rounded out the starting five’s scoring, all starters scoring in double figures on the night.

Meanwhile, Ryan Kriener sparked Iowa in the second half off the bench. The sophomore forward scored 5 points, but his 2 offensive rebounds in limited action injected life into Iowa’s offense.

For both teams, shots found the way into the bottom of the net easily. The Hawkeyes knocked down shots at a 50 percent rate, and the Illini shot 48.6 percent.

Iowa managed to secure the win despite losing the turnover battle, 17-14, and only recording 14 assists (Illinois dished out 22 dimes).

The Illini committed 31 personal fouls, and that’s where their biggest hit came from — three members of the Illinois squad fouled out, so the team was limited come overtime.

Iowa’s 104 points were the most it has scored against Illinois in the teams’ series. Jan. 11 marked the first time the Hawkeyes scored 100 or more points in a Big Ten game since 1995 and the first time doing so on the road in conference play since 1988.

Iowa’s 20-point comeback was the third-largest in school history, right behind a 22-point deficit against Illinois in 1987 and a 23-point comeback against Gardner-Webb in 2012.

The Hawkeyes’ comeback win over the Illini in 1987 also went into overtime.

Iowa maintained a lead late in the game, but Illinois’ Trent Frazier knocked down a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime.

Next up for Iowa basketball: Rutgers.

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