Iowa Downs Illini 68-60
Aaron White scored a career-high 29 points to lead Iowa to a 68-60 win over Illinois on Wednesday night.
White scored 14 straight points during a key stretch in the second half to give the Hawkeyes (18-10, 9-6 Big Ten) the lead.
Illinois got 20 points and 9 rebounds from Rayvonte Rice, and 19 points from Ahmad Starks who converted 5-of-9 three-pointers. But despite all that production, coach John Groce said he was not pleased with Starks' performance.
"I thought some of our passes were sloppy," he said. "Some of those guys have got to take the mindset that someone's going to have take their frickin' arm off before they take the frickin' ball. And I didn't we had that a couple of times in the second half tonight, and we've got to be a lot tougher than that with the basketball."
Iowa has won three straight games. The Illini shot only 33-percent from the field, and that same number from the arc. They committed 13 turnovers while dishing only eight assists.
The Hawkeyes were 44-percent from the field, and 43% from the arc, with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 14-to-12.
Point guard Jaylon Tate did not play. He's recovering from flu-like symptoms.
Orange Krush, the Illini student cheering organization, traveled to Iowa City for the game, despite a winter storm.
But in the end, it was Iowa's Hawks Nest chanting "N-I-T, N-I-T" that made the most poignant impression. Illinois is now 17-and-11 on the season, and drops to 7-and-8 in the Big Ten. NCAA Tournament hopes are dimming with each loss.