Tonight marked the third time in school history that Iowa rallied from at least 20 points to win a game (23 vs. Gardner-Webb in 2012 and 22 at IL in 1987). Coming into the second half, they were down by 13 points, 54-41.
Iowa holds records of 9-9 straight up (SU) and 5-7-2 against the spread (ATS).
Four players are averaging at least 9.6 points per game for Illini, they are: Leron Black (14.3), Michael Finke (10.6), Aaron Jordan (9.9) and Trent Frazier (9.6) per game.
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. Garza made two free throws with 4.9 seconds left to give the Hawkeyes a 90-87 cushion, but Frazier dribbled up the right side and threw in the tying shot as the horn sounded.
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.
Frazier doesn't lack for confidence - in himself or in his teammates - even after two more Big Ten losses last week put IL at 0-4 in the conference. Their Big Ten Conference record is a miserable 0-5. Leron Black only played 20 minutes, scoring seven points at MI on Saturday.
"The critical thing was (Ryan) Kreiner's performance that allowed (Luka) to be fresh at that time of the game", said McCaffery. Pace knocked down a free-throw halfway into the overtime period giving the Panthers the final lead of the game and secured their second victory of the season. The Hawkeyes grabbed 17 offensive rebounds, leading to plenty of second-chance points - 18 to be exact.
For both teams, shots found the way into the bottom of the net easily. Pace tallied a career-high 18 points. Berry also tallied four steals and two assists. Griffin added 11 points for TSU.
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 have recorded losses in their last two games, falling to Minnesota and MI in that time.
"I don't know what it is about the second half, " Underwood said in a tense postgame news conference. "They don't beat themselves and are very underrated defensively".
"It was a manageable number at halftime, that was important", said McCaffery.
Harris took encouragement from the play of the SIUE reserves, who accounted for 31 points, or 18 more than Belmont's substitutes. "We cut it at the end of the first half". Starters Jalen Henry (11 points), Justin Benton (10 points) and Christian Ellis (eight rebounds, seven points and three assists) also contributed to the cause.