Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Hawkeye Win After Epic Comeback

Hawkeye Win After Epic Comeback

We'll keep this one short.

Iowa forward Nicholas Baer (51) goes up with a shot between IL defenders Aaron Jordan (23) and Greg Eboigbodin (11) during overtime of their Big Ten Conference basketball game Thursday in Champaign, Ill.

Iowa (10-9. 1-5) outscored IL (10-8, 0-5) 14-7 in overtime after IL guard Trent Frazier sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. As the ball went in, Illini coach Brad Underwood threw an imaginary right cross with his fist, putting an exclamation point on the improbable basket.

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.

Points in the paint were controlled by IL, with 42 points, compared to Iowa's 38. With 3:53 left in the first half, Iowa trailed 49-29 but Luka Garza and Jordan Bohannon helped bring the Hawkeyes all the way back for an overtime victory.

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

But even before the first half ended, Illinois' defense was springing leaks.

Iowa fell behind by 20 points at IL, before coming back to win, 104-97 in overtime.

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.

"That shot by Jordan was the dagger", said Iowa coach Fran McCaffery. In the second half, Garza was the X-factor. "We got it down to 13 at halftime and that's a manageable number".

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By then the Illini were in foul trouble.

F Leron Black R-Jr. Black leads in rebounds with 5.7 while Te'Jon Lucas tops in assists with 3.2 per game. But the second half belonged to Tyler Cook and Iowa. Garza was a beast late.

But it was Garza who sealed it for Iowa.

Freshman guard Trent Frazier scored a career-high 27 points. But Iowa dominated the extra frame to send a State Farm Center crowd of 11,326 home grumbling. Frazier led IL with 27 points.

The Hawkeyes had a decisive advantage at the free throw stripe, finishing with season-highs in makes (33) and attempts (40). Pace tallied a career-high 18 points.

Underwood has clearly become frustrated with his team's repeated tendency to play one good half and one poor half. "All we talked about at halftime was opening the first four-minute war trying to compete and guard and do what we'd just done". "We were down 20 in the first half, but we weren't down 20 at halftime".

The second half and overtime belonged to Garza and Ryan Kriener. Think about that. Sixty-three points. Their 14 of 14 mark from the line in the first half kept them in the game. But, in a battle of conference foes with no conference wins, it wasn't Illinois's time.

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

The Illini committed 31 personal fouls, and that's where their biggest hit came from - three members of the IL squad fouled out, so the team was limited come overtime. He was a top 50 recruit as part of the Class of 2016.

Steele finished with a game leading 19 points and grabbed six rebounds before collecting her fifth foul in the overtime period. He played sparingly in early games this season, prompting his decision to transfer.

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