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Doolittle sparks no. 23 Iowa past Illinois 81-62

Published: Thursday, March 6, 2014 4:30 p.m. CST • Updated: Thursday, March 6, 2014 5:20 p.m. CST
Caption
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Illinois guard Amber Moore, right, knocks the ball away from Iowa guard Melissa Dixon in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament in Indianapolis, Ind., Thursday, March 6, 2014. Iowa won 81-62.

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Bethany Doolittle scored a career-high 26 points, hitting 10 of 14 shots, as fifth-seeded and 23rd-ranked Iowa defeat Illinois 81-62 in the first round of the Big 10 tournament on Thursday.

Melissa Dixon added 15 points and Ally Disterhoft 14 with 12 rebounds for the Hawkeyes (24-7), who face No. 17 Purdue (21-7), the fourth seed, in the quarterfinals Friday.

Amber Moore had 26 points for the Illini (9-21), who have lost 11 straight). Ivory Crawford had 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Iowa opened the game with an 11-2 run and after Illinois regrouped to take a 27-26 lead, the Hawkeyes closed the half with a 15-2 surge for a 41-29 lead.

Iowa shot 54 percent from the field, made 21 of 26 free throw and had a 45-31 rebounding edge to offset 24 turnovers. The Illini shot just 32 percent and got to the line 14 times, making 10.

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