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.
FYI: Illinois forward Michael Finke averaged 14.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists in the Illini's pair of wins last season against Iowa.
IL tried to overcome a number of obstacles, including a suspension and the flu, and appeared to be well on its way as it built a 49-29 lead with just under four minutes to play in the first half. Trent Frazier's miracle three pointer at the end of regulation forced overtime tied 90-90.
The Hawkeyes trailed by 49-29 with 3:53 remaining in the first half before rallying for a 104-97 overtime victory at IL on Thursday night at the State Farm Center. Jordan Bohannon, Tyler Cook, and Luke Garza combined for 68 points and every Iowa starter scored in double figures. 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.
Despite Fraizer's big shot, the Hawkeyes had the rhythm, the Illini did not.
Cook and Garza both posted double-doubles and a total of five Hawkeyes reached double figures.
IL went on a 13-0 run (18:21-13:56) and a 10-0 run (10:20-8:29) in the first half.
The Hawkeyes rank 33rd in blocks per game (4.9) while the Fighting Illini rank 166th (2.2).
In Tom Davis' final season as coach, on December 9, 1998, Iowa rallied from an 18-point deficit with 12:52 left in the game to shock No. 10 Kansas 85-81 at Allen Field House.
On the season, IL basketball averages 78.9 points, 37.4 rebounds and 14.3 assists per game.
Iowa's in the same boat as IL in the Big Ten.
FYI: Fighting the flu Saturday at Michigan, Black's seven-point scoring effort was the first time since November 17 he didn't hit double digits playing a full game for the Illini.
"The critical thing was (Ryan) Kreiner's performance that allowed (Luka) to be fresh at that time of the game", said McCaffery. In the second half, the Hawkeyes collectively realized there was no reason to lose to Gardner-Webb.
According to the University of Iowa Sports Information, it's Iowa's second largest road comeback in school history. It was the fifth time Iowa has rallied from down at least 18 points to pull out a victory.
Bohannon's three-pointer in overtime put the Hawkeyes up 99-90 and sealed the win. Leron Black only played 20 minutes, scoring seven points at MI on Saturday.
"It didn't start in the second half", he said.
"I don't know what it is about the second half, " Underwood said in a tense postgame news conference. Tia Wooten was 10-of-10 from the free throw line and finished with a double-double of 18 points and 11 boards. Like Iowa, it struggled with turnovers.
EIU improves to 2-14 overall, 1-4 in the OVC while TSU falls to 3-11 overall, 1-4 in the OVC.
G Aaron Jordan Jr. Ten assists in Iowa's home loss to Ohio State on January 4 stands as his season high.
Some who follow Iowa have in recent weeks questioned whether or not the Hawkeyes had checked out; whether they were completely lost and weren't accepting Fran McCaffery's coaching.
Iowa forced IL into committing 31 fouls and four Illini players fouled out in the contest.