It's How You Finish

Rayvonte Rice made his return, Kendrick Nunn led Illinois with 21 points, and Illinois closed on 21-2 run to defeat Michigan 64-52 in overtime and get to 7-5 in B1G play with a tough stretch ahead.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Kendrick Nunn scored 21 points and Illinois dominated in overtime Thursday to beat Michigan, 64-52.

The win was the fourth straight for the Illini (17-8, 7-5 Big Ten).

Illinois trailed the Wolverines (13-12, 6-7) much of the night but scored the final seven points of regulation and willed the game to overtime with tough defense.

From there Nunn scored four of Illinois' first six overtime points. The first two gave the Illini their first lead since the first half, 52-50. The second two all but put the game out of reach of the reeling Wolverines, 56-50.

Illinois closed the game on a 21-2 run.

Illinois guard Rayvonte Rice played for the first time since Jan. 3. He had been out with a broken hand and a suspension for a violation of team rules. He scored just 4 points but had a key steal to send the game to overtime.

After tying the game at 22 early in the second period, Illinois trailed the rest of regulation until Nunn hit a 3-pointer from the left corner with 1:22 to play.

With the game tied at 50, the teams traded misses and tough defensive stops.

The last of those belonged to Rice, intercepting Spike Albrecht's inbound pass from half-court with 3.4 second left to prompt the extra session.

Starting with Nunn's free throws and a bucket from center Nnanna Egwu, his first points of the night, the Illini owned the overtime.

They outscored Michigan 14-2 over those final five minutes, energizing a loud, sellout crowd and stunning the Wolverines.

Michigan's only overtime points came on a pair of free throws by Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman with 13 seconds to play.

Ahmad Starks scored 12 points, nine of them in Illinois' 20-point first half, when few of his Illini teammates could hit much of anything. Malcolm Hill added 11 and Egwu had a game-high 12 rebounds and four blocks.

Albrecht led Michigan with 13 points. Max Bielfeldt added 12 off the bench. The Wolverines got 21 bench points.

TIP-INS

Michigan: Entering play Thursday, Michigan had won eight straight against Illinois, including three in a row in Champaign.

Illinois: In nine games without Rayvonte Rice, Malcolm Hill and Kendrick Nunn scored 52.9 percent of Illinois' points.

UP NEXT

Michigan: Hosts Michigan State on Tuesday.

Illinois: Travels to No. 5 Wisconsin on Sunday.


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