Illini suffer first setback

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Coming off one of their worst shooting performances under coach Steve Alford, Iowa rebounded Saturday to beat previously unbeaten and No. 6 Illinois 63-48, snapping the Illini's 15-game winning streak.

The Hawkeyes (12-4, 1-1 Big Ten) did just enough on offense. Jeff Horner had 16 points and helped Iowa take command in the second half, when the Hawkeyes scored 40 points on 53 percent shooting and 18-of-21 from the free throw line.

But it was the defense that flustered the Illini (15-1, 1-1), who were held under 50 points for the first time since Michigan State did it Feb. 11, 1999.

"I know how good Illinois is, so to beat that team the way we did today, and to defend, we can guard anybody," said Alford, whose team shot 17 percent in the second half in a loss to Wisconsin earlier in the week.

In a physical battle between two of the Big Ten's best defensive teams, Iowa held Illinois to 35 percent shooting and shut down flashy point guard Dee Brown, who scored six points on 2-of-13 shooting -- one game after he scored a career-high 34 in a victory over No. 7 Michigan State.

The Illini, who had won 54 of their last 55 regular-season games, committed 16 turnovers.

Tar Heels win

Freshman Tyler Hansbrough (Poplar Bluff) converted all 14 free throws on his way to 20 points to help the 25th-ranked North Carolina hold off No. 13 North Carolina State 82-69.

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