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Hawkeyes edge Hoosiers in Big Ten final

Luke Recker & Steve Alford
Sideline inspiration: A happy Steve Alford and Luke Recker celebrate Iowa's victory over Indiana.

Close but no cigar
Disappointed: Indiana had excellent chances but couldn't put the ball through the hoop when it counted.

Iowa Fans
Faithful Iowa Fans celebrate the team's first ever Big Ten Tournament championship.

Duez Henderson
We won! Iowa's Duez Henderson celebrates with the hawkeye faithful.

Reggie Evans
REJECTED! Iowa's Reggie Evans stuffs Indiana's title hopes by rejecting Kirk Hasting's final three point attempt.

Mike Davis
Indiana Coach Mike Davis petitions to no avail for a foul call.

Happy Hawkeyes
Happy Hawkeyes! Player of the game Brody Boyd and Tournament MVP Reggie Evans bask in the glow of victory.

Brody Boyd
Brody Boyd takes his turn at cutting down the net.

Iowa
Bringing home the hardware! Head Coach Steve Alford and the team accept the Big Ten Tournament trophy

CHICAGO (AP) – Iowa came here simply hoping to play its way into the NCAA Tournament. They did one better than that.

Brody Boyd scored 22 points and Reggie Evans finished with 11 rebounds and two blocked shots – including a last-second deflection of a 3-pointer by Kirk Haston – as the Hawkeyes beat Indiana 63-61 Sunday to win the Big Ten tournament.

The victory gives Iowa (22-11) the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

As the buzzer sounded, the Iowa players rushed the floor. Leading scorer Luke Recker, the former Indiana player who has been sidelined by a broken kneecap since Iowa's Jan. 27 victory over his old team, grabbed coach Steve Alford in a bear hug.

It was an apropos moment, considering it was Hoosiers who helped Iowa to the victory.

Boyd, the third-leading scorer in Indiana prep history, made three straight 3-pointers to get Iowa back in the game.

And Alford is a favorite son in Indiana. A former Indiana Mr. Basketball, he led the Hoosiers to the 1987 national championship and was recently named to Indiana's All-Century team. He was mentioned as a possible successor to Bob Knight – even before Knight was fired in September.

But this day didn't belong to Indiana (21-12). It belonged to Iowa.

Playing their fourth game in four days, the Hawkeyes trailed by as many as nine points in the first half. But Boyd hit three straight 3s, the last one tying the game at 42 with 12:01 left to play.

With 1:43 left, Duez Henderson hit a leaner from the left side to give Iowa a 61-59 lead. Haston missed a jumper from the top of the key with 1:12 left, and Jared Jeffries got the rebound.

But Boyd, a 5-foot-11 guard, ripped the ball away from the 6-9 Big Ten freshman of the year.

Tom Coverdale missed a 3-pointer with 24 seconds left, and Boyd again came up with the rebound. He was fouled, and made both shots to give Iowa a 63-59 lead with 21 seconds left.

Coverdale hit a layup with 15 seconds, but Iowa turned the ball over on the inbounds pass. Haston missed from the corner, Henderson grabbed the rebound and Coverdale clobbered him for his fifth foul.

Henderson missed both shots with nine seconds left, and Haston grabbed the rebound.

But his 3-pointer from just beyond the arc was blocked by Evans – reminiscent of the block Haston put on Frank Williams' last-second layup attempt Saturday to preserve Indiana's semifinal victory over Illinois.

Evans smacked Haston's hands, and Indiana coach Mike Davis screamed for a foul, but nothing was called. The tipped ball didn't even make it halfway to the basket, giving Iowa the victory.

Henderson finished with seven points and five rebounds.

Haston led the Hoosiers with 24 points and 12 rebounds, but he went nine minutes in the second half without scoring. Jeffries added 17 points and seven boards.

Iowa Women win Championship!
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