College basketball scores: Hawkeyes hold off Illinois in Champaign

Joe Robbins

Iowa blew a 21-point lead on the road but held on to win by seven.

The No. 15 Iowa Hawkeyes narrowly avoided disaster on Saturday, holding on in Champaign for an 81-74 win after blowing a 21-point lead.

Illinois turned a 34-13 deficit in the first half into just a 40-36 margin at the break behind a 23-6 run. Joseph Bertrand scored 20 points on 7-10 shooting and Rayvonte Rice had 13 points and nine rebounds in the loss.

The Illini grabbed a five-point lead on a layup from Rice with 9:16 to play before Iowa finished the game on a 20-8 run. Roy Devyn Marble scored eight of his team-high 17 points in the final nine minutes. Gabriel Olaseni had 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Hawkeyes, who out-rebounded Illinois 41-28, helping to make up for 15 turnovers.

No. 12 Louisville 87 Central Florida 70

The Cardinals bounced back from a tough home loss to Cincinnati earlier in the week with a convincing win over Central Florida. Louisville is now alone in second in the AAC at 7-2.

Russ Smith made his case for conference player of the year with 27 points on 9-of-14 shooting and Luke Hancock added 16 more. The Cardinals opened the game with a 20-6 run behind a pair of threes from Smith and never looked back. Louisville led for all but the game's first seven seconds.

Tristan Spurlock had 20 points to lead the Knights, who shot just 38 percent for the game and turned the ball over 16 times. UCF is now just 1-7 in the AAC and has lost six in a row.

No. 5 San Diego State 65 Colorado State 56

Steve Fisher won his 300th game at San Diego State on Saturday and the Aztecs won their 18th in a row behind 24 points from Xavier Thames, who shot a perfect 12-for-12 from the foul line.

This season, San Diego State has gone from unranked to No. 5 in the country and is unbeaten in the Mountain West at 8-0 for the first time in program history. The Aztecs' only loss was to No. 1 Arizona in the second game of the season.

In this one,Thames and Winston Shepard (17 points) led the way with Josh Davis (knee) and Dwayne Polee (illness) sidelined for the Aztecs.

Jon Octeus had 24 points for the Rams, but no other Colorado State player scored in double figures. J.J. Avila, however, did grab 13 rebounds to go with his nine points.

Saint Joseph's 73 No. 21 Massachusetts 68

Three losses in four games have the Minutemen in free fall with their most recent slip-up coming in Philadelphia.

An 18-7 run from the Hawks buried UMass late in the first half as the UMass comeback bid ultimately fell short. Though the Minutemen were able to tie the game a couple times in the final minute, they never took the lead and the Hawks scored the final five points of the game.

Halil Kanacevic played all 40 minutes and scored 18 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists. Ronald Roberts added 17 points.

Derrick Gordon shot 10-for-13 in the loss for UMass, tallying 21 points. Chaz Williams had 16 points and 10 assists.

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