NCAA Game Summary - Iowa at Illinois
Champaign, IL (Sports Network) - Meyers Leonard registered a double-double with 22 points and a game-high 14 rebounds to help lead Illinois to a 65-54 win over Iowa in Big Ten Conference play at Assembly Hall.
Brandon Paul, who along with Leonard was held out of the starting lineup, accounted for 17 points for the Fighting Illini (17-12, 6-10 Big Ten) while D.J. Richardson tacked on 12 points as the team snapped a six-game slide.
The Hawkeyes (15-14, 7-9) were paced by Matt Gatens with 22 points as he converted 5-of-6 shots behind the three-point line, but still the team had a two-game win streak halted. Roy Devyn Marble chipped in 10 points, six assists and four steals, but he was also tabbed for six of the program's 17 turnovers on the evening as well.
Illinois had just two points through the first five minutes of action, but the team then ripped off an 11-0 run over the next three minutes to move out to a 13-5 advantage with 12 minutes left in the period. Holding the Hawkeyes to just 29.6 percent shooting from the floor in the first half, the hosts claimed a 34-23 lead at the break.
In the second half the Illini made good on just 38.5 percent from the floor, but the team still put together enough defensive pressure to grab the double- digit win nonetheless.
Illinois won the battle of the boards, 35-27, and that helped the program to overcome 18 turnovers which Iowa traded in for 13 points.
Paul, who shot 5-of-9 from the floor, also became the 46th player in Illinois history to reach 1,000 points for his career as he knocked down a three- pointer early in the first half.