Saturday was an emotional day inside Carver Hawkeye Arena.
Iowa was honoring various members of past Hawkeye teams, including Kenny Arnold, a guard for the Hawkeyes in the 80's who has been battling various health issues.
Fans, players, and coaches were decked out in white Kenny Arnold number 30 shirts for a white out inside a sold out Carver Hawkeye.
The Hawkeyes were taking on an Illinois team that has been up and down and one that defeated them in Champaign, IL not even a month ago. Illinois really hurt the Hawkeyes in the first meeting by jumping out to an early 10-0 lead.
This go around, Illinois jumped out to a 10-4 lead about 5 minutes into the game, but the Hawkeyes were able to keep them close. Iowa took the lead with 11:08 left in the first stanza and didn't give it back until there was 15:55 remaining in the game.
The Hawkeyes did a good job speeding Illinois up and turning them over with their pressure. The energy was better after a rough first four minutes and it only took a little bit of wrath from Fran McCaffery. Iowa's bench provided a lot of the spark in the first half. Brady Ellingson, Christian Williams, and Dom Uhl were key players in helping Iowa keep the contest within reach.
After a first half that featured a lot of whistles and turnovers, the Hawkeyes had built a 7 point lead just 3 minutes into the second half, but were just unable to ever pull away from the Illini.
They slowly clawed their way back into game and the two teams traded runs for a good portion of the second half. Iowa would build a small 4 or 6 point lead, only to see the Illini erase it and build one of their own.
Brady Ellingson hit a jumper with 2:38 remaining in the game to give Iowa the lead at 61-60. Illinois then scored the next five points over the course of 1:06 to build a four point lead of their own. Iowa got within two points on two separate occasions over the last minute, but the Illini - who were shaky at the line the entire day (7-14) - were able to make just enough to put the Hawkeyes away. Illinois won by a final of 70-66.
Peter Jok led the Hawkeyes with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Tyler Cook chipped in 14 points of is own on 5-7 shooting.
Iowa now turns their attention to Tuesday night when they'll welcome in the Indiana Hoosiers. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. CT on Tuesday.