Cold Shooting Dooms U-M in 54-52 Loss

The Michigan basketball team fell to 16-11 on the season and 6-8 in Big 10 play with a 54-52 loss to the Illinois Fighting Illini. Jordan Morgan was Michigan's top performer with 12 points and seven rebounds.

CHAMPAIGN, Il. - The Michigan basketball team dropped a key road contest 54-52 to the Illinois Fighting Illini on Wednesday night at Assembly Hall in Champaign. The Wolverines hit just 2-of-18 from behind the three-point arc in the loss.

Jordan Morgan led Michigan with 12 points and seven rebounds. Darius Morris added 11 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and Tim Hardaway Jr. finished with 10 points and five assists.

Demetri McCamey led the Illini with 18 points. Mike Davis had eight points and 10 rebounds in a supporting role. Illinois shot 44.2 percent to the Wolverines 37.3.

Down 43-34 with just 10:26 left in the contest, U-M used a 10-2 run to trim the Illinois lead to just 45-44 with 8:20 remaining. Evan Smotrycz opened the run with one of the Wolverines two triples. Matt Vogrich, Zack Novak and Tim Hardaway Jr. also scored.

Illinois curbed the Wolverines momentum, though, and McCamey added a triple to make it 50-46 with 6:35 remaining. Darius Morris trimmed it back to two, then added a second layup with 16 seconds left to make it 53-52.

Illinois added a Bill Cole free throw to make it 54-52, and then Evan Smotrycz and Stu Douglass both missed desperation three-point shots at the buzzer.

In the first half the Wolverines jumped on top 13-7 before going ice cold from the floor. McCamey and Mike Tisdale sparked an 8-0 surge to put Illinois in front 15-13.

Smotrycz tied it with a layup, but then McCamey and Brandon Paul stretched Illinois' lead to 19-15 with a pair of layups. With 3:29 left in the half the lead grew to 30-19, again coming on the hot hand of McCamey. Each team added one more basket before the half with Illinois coming to a 32-22 lead at the break.

The Wolverines next attempt at climbing back to .500 in the Big 10 comes on Saturday with a trip to Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30.

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