Eastern Illinois shocks Iowa on the road as a 31.5-point underdog

Eastern Illinois pulled off the biggest college basketball upset by point spread in the modern era Wednesday, knocking off Iowa 92-83 on the road as a 31.5-point underdog, according to Caesars Sportsbook.

Kinyon Hodges scored 22 points and Caleb Donaldson added 16 for the Panthers, who became the first underdog of 30 or more points to win outright in the past 30 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Before Eastern Illinois’ upset of the Hawkeyes, underdogs of 30 or more points were 0-558 over the past 30 seasons.

The Panthers were such big underdogs that most sportsbooks did not offer odds on them to win the game straight up.

The start of Wednesday’s game was moved up 4½ hours due to the weather forecast, then Iowa broke out to an 18-4 lead and led 45-37 at the half.

Hodges had three straight dunks in 68 seconds to break a 55-55 tie midway through the second half as Eastern Illinois took control. A Donaldson layup had the Panthers up 75-65 with 5:26 to play, and his jumper made it 82-68 with 2:50 to go.

The Panthers were 21-of-29 after intermission (72%), including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, while the Hawkeyes went 2-of-17 behind the arc and 11-of-36 overall (31%) .

Only suspected foul shooting delayed the outcome. Eastern Illinois was 9-of-17 from the line in the second half, but Iowa also struggled, going 14-of-23.

Yaakema Rose Jr. and Kyle Thomas scored 13 points apiece for Eastern Illinois (4-9), which lost by 30 to Illinois and 23 to Ohio State earlier in the season. Dan Luers added 10 points.

It was the fourth Power 5 win for the Panthers, the others coming in 1974, 1987 and 2019. It was also their second win, and first in 35 years, over a Big Ten team.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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