Illini players preview Iowa game

Iowa's Luka Garza gets helped up by his teammates late in the second half of Iowa's 104-97 win over Illinois on Thursday in Champaign

Iowa's Luka Garza gets helped up by his teammates late in the second half of Iowa's 104-97 win over Illinois on Thursday in Champaign

As iconic moments go, that one has endured.

Location: State Farm Center, Champaign, Ill.

It will be talked about with frowns, scowls and one-too-many shots of whiskey. "I just don't know yet if we expect to win".

The Fighting Illini blew a 20 point lead on Thursday night in Champaign, and fell to Iowa 104-97 in overtime.

Junior forward Leron Black leads the Illini at 14.3 points per game, while junior forward Michael Finke is next at 10.6. The Illini finished with only 14 free throws, making 11.

Over on the IL side, they're sitting at 10-7 this season.

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Neither Iowa nor IL have lived up to expectations this year. Their post players, led by Cook, have dominated in some games, and that isn't one of Illinois' strongest areas. Their Big Ten Conference record is a miserable 0-5.

Points in the paint were controlled by IL, with 42 points, compared to Iowa's 38. In the Wolverines game, IL forward Kipper Nichols put up 17 points.

Iowa first took the lead 83-82, its first since 4-2, with 3:01 left in regulation on a three-point play by Luke Garza.

"We really go game-to-game", Iowa coach Fran McCaffery said. In the second half, Garza was the X-factor. "Yeah, OK, at the start of the season we have a goal, not only to get to the NCAA Tournament but to advance". I think that's important. You have to go take it.

Iowa improved to 10-9 on the season and 1-5 in the Big Ten.

By then the Illini were in foul trouble.

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IL freshman Da'Monte Williams is not used to losing.

Jordan Bohannan's 3-point dagger that essentially took the air out of the State Farm Center crowd, not to mention the IL team, coaches and bench. Garza was a beast late.

Iowa was masterful at the line, making 33 of 40 and with Bohannon and Garza combining to make 19 of 19. It's, 'What do we got to do to beat IL? But Iowa dominated the extra frame to send a State Farm Center crowd of 11,326 home grumbling. January 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. He made 7 of 11 3-pointers.

G Aaron Jordan Jr. "They are probably as big as any team in the league, especially on the perimeter".

"It's the same song, second verse". That, Underwood said, is the definition of inconsistency. "We've just got to be consistent", the speedy lefty out of Florida said. "First half was fun to watch, not so much the second". "It's either we play the first half great or second half great". They notched 38 points in the paint on a night when they shot just 7 of 24 from behind the three-point arc. "I'll win the battle".

It is the third time in school history that Iowa has rallied from a 20-point deficit to win. Like the Illini, the Hawkeyes are light on seniors and is reliant on up-and-coming stars. He could be eligible for the second semester of next season. The sophomore forward scored 5 points, but his 2 offensive rebounds in limited action injected life into Iowa's offense. He played sparingly in early games this season, prompting his decision to transfer.

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