Guard Devyn Marble scored all 17 of his points in the second half to propel the No. 15 Iowa Hawkeyes to an 81-74 victory over the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday night at State Farm Arena in Champaign, Ill.
The Hawkeyes, coming off a 71-69 loss at home to Michigan State on Tuesday night, opened a big first-half lead against the Fighting Illini and let it slip away before rallying in the final minutes.
Illinois (13-9, 2-7 Big Ten) surged in front 66-61 with 9:03 left on a basket by guard Ravonte Rice.
Marble answered with a 3-pointer and Iowa center Gabriel Olaseni tied it on a layup with 7:24 left. Three free throws in the next minute by Rice kept Illinois in front 69-66.
The Hawkeyes (17-5, 6-3) went on a 7-0 run to reclaim the lead at 73-70 and held off the Illini in the closing minutes. Marble scored six points, including five at the line.
Olaseni finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds and forward Aaron White scored 14 points.
Guard Joseph Bertrand had 20 points to lead Illinois and Rice added 13 points and nine rebounds.
Iowa shot 80 percent from the free throw line, making 24 of 30, and outrebounded Illinois 41-28.
The Hawkeyes bolted to a 21-point lead in the first half. Two free throws by center Adam Woodbury with 7:34 left in the opening 20 minutes made it 34-13. Iowa was still up 36-22 with 5:06 remaining in the half after two free throws by Olaseni before the Illini fought back.
Illinois outscored Iowa 14-4 in the final 3:30 to close to 40-36 at intermission. Guards Malcolm Hill and Kendrick Nunn each made a 3-pointer during the run.
Olaseni led Iowa in the first half with 11 points and seven rebounds. He made 9 of 10 free throws. Marble, Iowa’s leading scorer, was held without a point in the opening 20 minutes on 0-of-4 shooting.
Bertrand scored 12 points to lead Illinois at halftime.
Both teams had 11 field goals in the first half. The difference was at the line. Iowa was 15 of 17 (88.2 percent) and Illinois made 10 of 15 (66.7 percent). The Hawkeyes had a sizable 25-12 rebound advantage.
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