BTN.com staff, February 7, 2016
(AP) Just over three minutes into the second half, Iowa's Peter Jok stole the ball from Illinois guard Khalid Lewis and glided to the other end of the court for a two-handed dunk.
It was part of a 5-minute span after halftime in which the junior scored seven of the fifth-ranked Hawkeyes' points, pushing their lead to 15 and delivering a blow the Illini wouldn't recover from.
Jok finished with 23 points and Iowa (19-4, 10-1 Big Ten) coasted to a 77-65 victory.
Jok is playing with confidence, and doing that at both ends of the court, Hawkeyes coach Fran McCaffery said.
"I think you're seeing a much more complete player," McCaffery said. "You're watching a guy who, when he was young, made some mistakes. And he's not doing that anymore."
Jok said Iowa, whose only serious tests Sunday came in the game's opening minutes and the handful of times the Illini would later cut the lead to single digits, has grown up as a team.
"It's because of our experience," Jok said. "When teams are coming back, we don't rush anything. We know what we have to do to win."
The loss was the fifth in seven games for injury-plagued Illinois (11-13, 3-8).