No. 7 Iowa fell to No. 19 Illinois 80-75 on Friday at State Farm Center, putting the Hawkeyes two games back of No. 4 Michigan for first place in the Big Ten.
Iowa (12-4) was playing for the first time since Jan. 21 because of a postponed contest against Nebraska earlier in the week. The extra rest didn't translate to a victory, even as star big man Luka Garza notched 19 points and four rebounds.
Instead it was Illinois' Ayo Dosunmu pouring in a game-high 25 points, while Trent Frazier added 24.
A late 7-0 run by Illinois put things too far out of reach, though Iowa had a chance to mount a stunning comeback with less than a minute remaining.
After a Jordan Bohannon three-pointer made it a one-possession game, Illinois committed a five-second violation on the ensuing inbounds, giving the ball right back to the Hawkeyes with 11 seconds left. But Iowa rushed another three from Bohannon that clanked off the rim, and the Hawkeyes wouldn't get another opportunity to take the lead.
It was a massive victory for Illinois (11-5), which had dropped two of its last three heading into Friday's action. Prior to beating the Hawkeyes, the team's biggest win this season came over then-No. 10 Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium in early December. That was immediately followed by a loss to Missouri.
One of head coach Brad Underwood's biggest tasks moving forward will be making sure Illinois doesn't get too comfortable after knocking off Iowa—especially with matchups against No. 14 Wisconsin and No. 4 Michigan next week.
Iowa won't get much of a break either.
The Hawkeyes are set to play No. 13 Ohio State, Rutgers and two games against Michigan State in the next two weeks.