Iowa Men's Basketball

Iowa men's basketball at Illinois: Box score, highlights, live updates recap

No. 23 Illinois held off a furious rally from No. 18 Iowa to win the Big Ten men's basketball regular-season finale Sunday in Champaign, Ill., 78-76.

The Hawkeyes trailed by 16 in the second half, but got within two with 17.8 seconds left and had multiple chances to tie or take the lead. Connor McCaffery couldn't get a floater or the ensuing tip to go and Luka Garza's final attempt off an inbound pass with 1.6 seconds left was blocked by Kofi Cockburn.

The Fighting Illini (21-10, 13-7) earned the No. 4 seed and final double-bye in the Big Ten tournament. Iowa (20-11, 11-9) fell into a four-way tie for fifth place and got the No. 5 seed.

Garza scored a game-high 28 points on 12-for-21 shooting, his 16th straight game with 20-plus points. That ties Fred Brown's Iowa record. Joe Toussaint added 14 points for the Hawkeyes.

The game was tied at 41 at halftime but Illinois created separation with a 17-4 run early in the second. Ayo Dosunmu had 17 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. 

It was 66-50 Illinois with 10:42 remaining before the Hawkeyes rallied.

Mike Hlas: Illinois blocks Iowa from Big Ten tournament double-bye

Box score: No. 23 Illinois 78, No. 18 Iowa 76

Point spread: Iowa (+4) covered

Stat leaders:

Points — Luka Garza, Iowa (28); Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois (17)

Rebounds — Luka Garza, Iowa (8); Kofi Cockburn, Illinois (8)

Assists — Connor McCaffery, Iowa (8); Ayo Dosunmu, Illinois (8)

Steals — Iowa (0); Kofi Cockburn, Illinois (2)

Blocks — Luka Garza, Iowa (2); Kofi Cockburn, Illinois (1)

Live updates recap: Iowa at Illinois

Final: Illinois 78, Iowa 76

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Ayo Dosunmu missed the front end of a one-and-one with 15.8 seconds left and Illinois up 78-76. Iowa's Connor McCaffery missed a floater in the lane off the glass and couldn't get the following tip to go either.

The ball went out of bounds off Illinois with 1.6 seconds left, but Luka Garza's game-tying attempt from the lane was blocked by Kofi Cockburn.

With a win against Minnesota or Northwestern on Thursday, Iowa and Illinois would meet again in the Big Ten tournament quarterfinals.

0:17 2nd: Illinois 78, Iowa 76

Luka Garza got past Kofi Cockburn in the post for a two-handed slam. Iowa used its last timeout with 17.8 seconds remaining, down two.

0:31 2nd: Illinois 78, Iowa 74

Ayo Dosunmu hit a jumper out of the timeout to put Illinois up six, but the Hawkeyes came right back.

Joe Wieskamp scored in the lane and, after an Illinois miss, CJ Fredrick found Luka Garza for a layup in transition to cut it to 76-74 with 53 seconds left.

Dosunmu then came up clutch again with another jumper to make it 78-74 with 31.1 seconds to play.

2:19 2nd: Illinois 74, Iowa 70

Bakari Evelyn's corner 3-pointer got the Hawkeyes within four and led to an Illinois timeout.

3:40 2nd: Illinois 72, Iowa 65

Connor McCaffery kept Iowa in the game with a pair of 3-pointers to cut the Illinois lead to seven. The Hawkeyes had made just one second-half 3 prior to that point.

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7:23 2nd: Illinois 68, Iowa 55

Luka Garza clinched his 16th straight 20-plus-point game with a three-point play, tying Fred Brown's Iowa record.

The Hawkeyes still trailed by double digits, though, at the third media timeout of the second half.

Illinois had grabbed 11 offensive rebounds to Iowa's five. Iowa missed seven of its first eight 3-point tries in the second half.

13:03 2nd: Illinois 60, Iowa 48

Andres Feliz's runner put Illinois up 10, then Ayo Dosunmu flew past Luka Garza in the lane after a steal to put the Illini up 12.

Iowa started the second half 2 for 7 with four turnovers.

 

16:00 2nd: Illinois 53, Iowa 46

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Joe Toussaint provided rare scoring contributions for Iowa with nine first-half points and continued that in the second half with a 3-pointer and a runner in the lane to up his total to 14. But the Illini made four of their first five field-goal attempts to take their largest lead of the game at seven.

Three of those makes came from 3-point range, including two from Andres Feliz.

17:17 2nd: Illinois 49, Iowa 44

After Joe Toussaint nailed a 3-pointer to begin the second half, Illinois responded with an 8-0 run to go up five and lead to an Iowa timeout.

Andres Feliz and Trent Frazier buried triples during that sequence.

 

Halftime: Iowa 41, Illinois 41

The tension everyone assumed was there with these two teams showed up with 1:00 left in the first half. After Iowa's CJ Fredrick was called for an offensive foul off the ball, four players were assessed technical fouls after exchanging words in separate, uh, conversations: Fredrick and Connor McCaffery of Iowa and Trent Frazier and Da'monte Williams of Illinois.

Luka Garza snapped an Iowa field-goal drought of 6:40 with a putback with 2:01 remaining in the half.

After Alan Griffin gave Illinois a 41-39 lead, Riley Till tied it up for the Hawkeyes with his first basket since Feb. 8, a reverse layup with 33 seconds left.

Garza totaled 13 points and four rebounds for Iowa in the first half. Kofi Cockburn had 10 points and five boards for the Illini.

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3:51 1st: Iowa 35, Illinois 33

Illinois went on a 7-0 run to tie the score at 33 on a Kipper Nichola dunk. That gave him eight points. He hasn't scored in double figures this season.

Connor McCaffery's free throws on the next Iowa possession restored the Hawkeyes' lead. At the media timeout with 3:51 left in the half, Iowa hadn't made a field goal in 4:51.

 

7:08 1st: Iowa 33, Illinois 28

Iowa shot 60 percent in the first 13 minutes, including 5 of 8 from 3-point range, but maintained just a five-point lead.

Both teams' star bigs showed why they're stars. Luka Garza started 5 for 9 with 11 points for Iowa and Kofi Cockburn put up 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting.

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10:23 1st: Iowa 29, Illinois 22

Bakari Evelyn came off the bench and became the fifth Hawkeye to knock down a 3-pointer in the first eight-plus minutes to extend Iowa's lead to 10. He added a reverse layup on the next possession after Illinois answered.

Ayo Dosunmu hit Illinois' first triple, but the Illini were mostly working the ball inside. Forwards Kofi Cockburn, Kipper Nichols and Giorgi Bezhanishvili combined for the other 19 Illini points.

Connor McCaffery checked back in for Iowa after leaving the game with an apparent leg injury.

 

13:38 1st: Iowa 20, Illinois 13

Luka Garza, CJ Fredrick, Joe Wieskamp and Joe Toussaint all hit 3-pointers to help Iowa take the early lead as the Hawkeyes made four of their first five attempts from deep.

Kofi Cockburn scored nine of Illinois' first 13 points, including two alley-oops — one of which he turned into a three-point play.

Iowa point guard Connor McCaffery had to limp off the floor with an apparent leg injury.

Illinois' Andres Feliz went to the bench with two fouls with 16:38 left.

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