Iowa Vs. Illinois Score Update: Illini Lead Hawkeyes 31-27 At Halftime

The 2012 Big Ten Tournament is finally underway, and in the first game of the day, the No. 9 seed Illinois Fighting Illini lead the No. 8 Iowa Hawkeyes 31-27 at the half. Meyers Leonard got off to a great start, as he hit five of six shots for 10 points, grabbed four rebounds and dished out two assists as well. D.J. Richardson hit 3-5 three-pointers -- the only three the Illini hit all half -- and added nine points from his backcourt spot to augment Leonard's performance.

Iowa got nine points on 4-5 shooting from guard Matt Gatens to stay within striking distance, but they are only shooting 44 percent as a team and have yet to grab an offensive rebound. The only reason the Illini haven't pulled away is because they have been a bit sloppy with the ball (seven turnovers) and can't seem to find a stroke from beyond the arc (3-12 as a team). The winner of his game will take on the top-seeded Michigan St. Spartans on Friday morning.

You can catch the rest of this game on the Big Ten Network.

For more on this game stay with SB Nation Chicago. For more Northwestern coverage, check out Sippin' On Purple, and for more on the Illini, check out Hail to the Orange. News and notes on college hoops teams around the country can be found at SB Nation's college basketball news hub.

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