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Hawkins scores 30 as No. 12 Illinois rallies past Iowa

Michael Hickey / Getty Images Sport / Getty

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Coleman Hawkins scored 30 points and No. 12 Illinois rallied from a seven-point deficit in the second half to beat Iowa 95-85 on Saturday.

Terrance Shannon Jr. and Justin Harmon each scored 12 points and Dain Dainja had eight rebounds for the Illini (20-7, 11-5 Big Ten).

Nico Moretti, who failed to score in Illinois' last three games, had eight points in the second half, including a pair of 3-pointers, helping to spark the late rally. Moretti last scored against Michigan on Jan. 18.

Josh Dix scored 20 points, Tony Perkins added 18, Payton Sandfort had 12 and Owen Freeman chipped in with eight points and eight rebounds for Iowa (16-12, 8-9), which led 64-57 with 12:15 left in the second half but failed to hold on.

With the win, Illinois remained in second place in the conference, two games behind No. 3 Purdue (13-3), with four Big Ten games remaining.

Hawkins scored 13 points in the first nine minutes of the first half as Illinois led 44-43 at the break.

With one second left in the half, following an Illinois turnover, Iowa’s Patrick McCaffery threw a baseball-style pass the length of the court to Sandfort, who made a short jumper at the buzzer.

The teams will meet again on March 10 at Iowa.


Iowa: After back-to-back wins over Big Ten heavyweights Wisconsin and Michigan State, the Hawkeyes seem poised for a late-season run in an effort to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. The loss to Illinois derailed those plans, at least for the moment.

Illinois: The Illini defense has been porous this month, and it wasn’t any better against an Iowa team that was averaging 83.4 points coming into the game and has reached 100 points four times this season. Illinois has given up at least 80 points in five of its six February games while going 4-2. Opponents had scored 83 or more points just four times in 20 games before February.


Iowa: Host Penn State on Tuesday.

Illinois: Host Minnesota on Wednesday.


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