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10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET6:00 PM GMT2:00 PM 北京时间11:00 AM MST1:00 PM EST, Jan 20, 2019
Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Iowa City, Iowa  Attendance: 13,589

Iowa, Illinois look to continue momentum

It wasn't the most overwhelming victory, but for Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, Wednesday night's 89-82 win at Penn State was pretty rewarding.

The Hawkeyes fought back from a 45-40 halftime deficit to take a seven-point lead, lost that lead in 56 seconds on an 8-0 Nittany Lions spurt, and then outscored Penn State 10-2 in the last three minutes to earn their fourth straight win.

"You have to give the team credit for how they fought in that situation and how we maintained our composure and got the lead back and got the stops we needed," McCaffery said.

With that trip in the rear-view mirror, No. 23 Iowa will try to keep its January roll going Sunday when it welcomes one of the Big 10 Conference's worst teams, Illinois, to Carver-Hawkeye Arena in Iowa City for some noontime hoops.

Of course, even losing teams are capable of cranking up great games. The Fighting Illini (5-12, 1-5) did just that Wednesday night when they routed Minnesota 95-68 in Champaign in a game where they, not the Golden Gophers, looked like Big 10 contenders.

Illinois has played a number of good teams down to the wire, such as Gonzaga in Maui and Ohio State in Chicago, but hasn't always been able to make winning plays at the end. The rout of Minnesota didn't require a big play in the endgame. The Illini led 51-28 at the half and scored its most points in a regulation Big 10 game since 1997.

"It was a night that a lot of things started to click," second-year Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. "I couldn't be happier for our locker room."

The Illini trailed for only 28 seconds against the Golden Gophers, waxing them in every aspect. They dominated the glass 39-26 against a team that had outrebounded its opponents by nearly six per game, and shot 56.1 percent from the field.

Can Illinois translate that kind of performance, or at least a decent facsimile of it, into a road game? Odds and this year's performance suggest it might not happen. It's 0-8 in neutral site and road games and has to face a team that is 10-1 at home.

Making the task tougher for the Illini is that Iowa (15-3, 4-3) might get its leading scorer back in 6-9, 250-pound junior forward Tyler Cook. After spraining his ankle in a Jan. 12 win over Ohio State, Cook sat out the victory at Penn State.

"The thing with a sprained ankle is you can run, but you can't cut," McCaffery said of Cook. "He had no explosion. He's going to be diligent rehabilitating that to get ready for Sunday."

Cook is averaging 17.1 points and 8.3 rebounds, shooting 58.6 percent from the field. Luka Garza (13.5), Jordan Bohannon (11.3) and Joe Wieskamp (11.3) also score in double figures for the Hawkeyes, who are averaging 82.1 points per game.

Guard Trent Frazier is Illinois' top scorer at 14.8, followed by freshmen Ayo Dosunmu (14.2) and Giorgi Bezhanishvili (11.0). The two combined for 43 against Minnesota, with Dosunmu tossing in a game-high 23.

--Field Level Media

Updated January 19, 2019

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