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Illini Fall to Iowa in Big Ten Tourney

The Fighting Illini are out of the Big Ten Tournament after one game.

Illinois lost a second half 7-point lead, and fell to Iowa 64-to-61 Thursday in what could be Coach Bruce Weber's final game.

After the game, he said his team is likely on the bubble for an NIT bid. DJ Richardson says the rumors about Coach Weber's future were not a distraction on the court.

"You hear stuff going around campus, people say stuff here and there," Richardson said. "But we still do what we have to do, and the coach still coaches us, and he does a good job of getting us through the tough situations. Me and Brandon (Paul), the upperclassmen have been leaders. We try wherever we can to help the coach out on the court, we just have got to do a better job out there."

Illinois closed out the regular season losing eight of nine. Meyers Leonard had 18 points and six rebounds, and D.J. Richardson and James Bertrand added 11 points each for Illinois.

Matt Gatens scored 20 points for the Hawkeyes. Iowa has won four of six and will play number 1 seed Michigan State Friday.

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