Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Illini players preview Iowa game

Illini players preview Iowa game

Iowa's Jordan Bohannon led his team to a win with a team-high 29 points.

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.

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. On the season, Iowa has defeated opponents by an average of 5.7 points.

Tyler Cook is the top Hawkeyes scorer on 14.7 PG with 6.3 RPG this year, and Moss has 12.1 PPG.

The Hawkeyes have been outscored by an average of 1.2 points in their last five games.

But Iowa fought back in the second half outscoring IL 49-36. The Hawkeyes knocked down shots at a 50 percent rate, and the Illini shot 48.6 percent. But Iowa outrebounded the Illini 46-26, including 20-9 in the second half, and outscored IL 33-11 from the free-throw line. IL is last in the Big Ten at assist-to-turnover ratio, with 243 team assists to 252 turnovers (0.96-to-1).

"Jordan was great all game long", said Iowa head coach Fran McCaffery. "He was ready this time".

Frazier, who led the Illini with 27 points, knocked down another 3 with 1:15 to go.

Iowa, after giving up 54 points in the first half, only allowed 36 and 7 in the second half and overtime, respectively. The Wolverines' mark was above their season average of 0.155, while the Fighting Illini's was below their season average of 0.265.

"It was a manageable number at halftime, that was important", said McCaffery.

Meanwhile, Ryan Kriener sparked Iowa in the second half off the bench. Think about that. Sixty-three points. Cook leads in rebounds with 6.3 while Bohannon tops in assists with 5.0 per game. Trent Frazier's miracle three pointer at the end of regulation forced overtime tied 90-90. Leron Black only played 20 minutes, scoring seven points at MI on Saturday.

On the season, Iowa basketball averages 80.7 points, 40.0 rebounds and 19.2 assists per game.

It is the third time in school history that Iowa has rallied from a 20-point deficit to win.

Alex Wittinger had 20 points and 13 rebounds for IL (9-9, 0-4), which has lost five straight. In the second half, Garza was the X-factor. Garza scored 17 of his 19 points in the 2 half and overtime.

Cook said he looked around at his teammates' eyes in the huddle prior to the overtime period and knew the game was in hand. He's not a huge threat from outside, but the offense will flow through him.

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

Last meeting: IL won 70-66 on February 18, 2017, in Iowa City, Iowa, to complete the season sweep.

Iowa committed 17 turnovers in the game, but only six came in the second half and in overtime.

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