CHAMPAIGN, IL - JANUARY 31: Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Bruce Weber yells to his team during the game against the Michigan State Spartans at Assembly Hall on January 31, 2012 in Champaign, Illinois. Illinois defeated Michigan State 42-41. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Illini Knock Off Iowa For First Win In February

The Illinois Fighting Illini defeated the Iowa Hawkeyes on Sunday night.

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3 Total Updates since February 26, 2012
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Illinois Vs. Iowa Score Update: Illini Put An End To Six-Game Losing Streak

For the first time in the month of February, the Illinois Fighting Illini put together a performance worthy of an NCAA Tournament bid. After losing six straight games, Illinois used an excellent defensive effort to pick up a 65-54 victory over the streaking Iowa Hawkeyes.

Meyers Leonard dominated the paint in the victory for the Fighting Illini. The talented big man scored 22 points and pulled down a team-high 14 rebounds in 36 minutes of action. Brandon Paul scored 17 points on 5/9 shooting, including 3/5 from behind the arc. The Illinois defense limited Iowa to just 36.7 percent shooting from the field.

The Hawkeyes were led by Matt Gatens in the loss, as the talented scorer netted a team-high 22 points and played all 40 minutes. The only other Iowa player to score in double figures was Roy Devyn Marble, who scored 10 points. The Hawkeyes struggled to take care of the ball, committing 17 turnovers.

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Illini, head over to Hail to the Orange, and for more on the Hawkeyes, visit Black Heart Gold Pants. For news and notes from around the country, stay with SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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Illinois Vs. Iowa Score Update: Fighting Illini Take Double-Digit Lead

Having lost six straight games, it seemed highly unlikely that Illinois would find its rhythm against an Iowa team that is playing its best basketball of the season. However, the Fighting Illini finally played like a team that is looking to make the NCAA Tournament, as they hold a 34-23 lead over the Hawkeyes at halftime.

Meyers Leonard completely dominated in the opening half, scoring 15 points on 4/7 shooting and pulling down seven rebounds. Leonard was the only Illini player to score more than five points in the opening half, with D.J. Richardson scoring five points on 2/6 shooting.

The Hawkeyes were led by Matt Gatens, who is playing some of the best basketball in the Big 10. Gatens scored 15 points on 5/7 shooting, including 4/4 from behind the three-point line. Gatens has scored at least 20 points in three straight games, including 33 in a win over Wisconsin. However, the rest of his teammates combined to only make three field goals.

For more on this game, stick with SB Nation Chicago. For more on the Illini, head over to Hail to the Orange, and for more on the Hawkeyes, visit Black Heart Gold Pants. For news and notes from around the country, stay with SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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Illinois Vs. Iowa: Illini Frantically Trying To Salvage Season

The Illinois Fighting Illini (16-12, 5-10) host the Iowa Hawkeyes (15-13, 7-8) in just another make-or-break game for their 2011-2012 season.

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