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Iowa holds off Illini

Illinois drops their 7th straight game

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Gabriel Olaseni set career highs with 15 points and 12 rebounds, and the No. 15 Iowa Hawkeyes topped Illinois 81-74 on Saturday night after blowing a big lead.

McCaffery questioned his team's toughness after a 75-67 loss at Michigan on Jan. 22, and guard Mike Gesell said the Hawkeyes (17-5, 6-3 Big Ten) answered their coach with their effort against the Illini.

The Hawkeyes led by 21 points just over 12 minutes into the game. They battered the Illini with their bench and Big Ten-best rebounding before Joseph Bertrand and company began to rally.

Illinois (13-9, 2-7) took a 62-61 lead on a 3-pointer by Tracy Abrams with 10:18 left in the game. But Iowa stayed close and took the lead for good at 72-70 on a bucket by Gesell with 3:50 to go.

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