Baer scores 17 points as Iowa beats Illinois 83-62

CHICAGO (AP) — Nicholas Baer made five of Iowa’s 12 3-pointers and scored 17 points, helping the Hawkeyes pull away from Illinois for an 83-62 victory on Thursday in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament.

Iowa turned up its play in the second half to stop a four-game losing streak and hand coach Fran McCaffery his first win since he returned Sunday after a two-game suspension for berating an official. The Hawkeyes went 12 for 23 from beyond the arc and turned 15 Illini turnovers into 24 points.

It was a similar performance to their meeting in the regular season, when Iowa shot 68 percent from the field in a 95-71 victory over Illinois on Jan. 20.

Next up for the Hawkeyes (22-10) is No. 10 Michigan on Friday night.

The Fighting Illini (12-21) used a 9-0 run to trim the Hawkeyes’ lead to 30-29 with 4:38 left in the first half, but they gradually fell off the pace from there.

Iowa grabbed control by ripping off 23 of 28 points during the decisive stretch in the second half. Baer made three of the Hawkeyes’ six 3s during the run, and Luka Garza connected from long range to make it 71-47 with 7:48 left.

Joe Wieskamp scored 13 points for Iowa, and Tyler Cook finished with 12. Connor McCaffery had eight of the Hawkeyes’ 25 assists on 31 baskets.

The Illini shot 52 percent from the field and placed four players in double figures, but couldn’t keep up defensively. Giorgi Bezhanishvili scored 12 points, and Trent Frazier and Tevian Jones each scored 11.

BIG PICTURE

Illinois: Coach Brad Underwood’s team looked a little tired in the second half after advancing with a 74-69 overtime win against Northwestern on Wednesday night.

Iowa: Baer and company are going to be tough to beat if they continue to shoot well. They were 18 for 32 from the field in the second half.

UP NEXT

Illinois’ season is over.

Iowa beat Michigan 74-59 on Feb. 1 in their only meeting of the season.

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Jay Cohen can be reached at https://twitter.com/jcohenap

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Associated Press

Associated Press

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