Jordan Bohannon had 25 points and Luka Garza added 20 to lead the Iowa Hawkeyes to a 96-87 win over the Illinois Fighting Illini on Wednesday in the first round of the Big Ten men?s basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Kipper Nichols had 31 for Illinois (14-18, 4-14 Big Ten), which lost for the seventh time in nine games to close the season.
Iowa used a 7-0 run early in the second half to take a 12-point lead, but Illinois cut it to within two midway through the half.
The Hawkeyes increased the lead to double digits late in the game and closed it out to win their second straight after a six game-losing streak.
Iowa (14-18, 4-14) will play fifth-seeded Michigan on Thursday in the quarterfinals.
Bohannon couldn?t miss in the first half, making all three of his field goal attempts, both of his 3-point shots and two free throws, as the Hawkeyes built a 35-31 halftime lead.
Bohannon finished 6-of-10 and 5-for-7 from 3-point range while making all eight of his free throw attempts, and he also added six assists. He did have five turnovers.
Nichols had 11 points at the half on 3-for-6 shooting, but no other Illinois player had more than six. Michael Finke and Trent Frazier turned it on in the second half, and both finished with 13 points for the Illini. Tejon Lucas added 12. Lucas also had eight assists, and Frazier had six.
Tyler Cook added 19 points for the Hawkeyes, who shot 56.3 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from 3-point range.
Iowa dominated the Illini at the free throw line, where the Hawkeyes shot 82.9 percent on 41 attempts. Illinois had just 12 free throw attempts, making nine.
Iowa also held a big edge on the boards, outrebounding Illinois 40-20, with Garza leading the way with eight.
Two more Hawkeyes -- Cook and guard Isaiah Moss - each added five rebounds, and three bench players had three rebounds. Finke had four rebounds to lead Illinois.