The first half pointed out the importance of guard play and the three point shot in today's college basketball. Michigan outrebounded Illinois 22-16 in the first stanza, and led 5-2 in offensive rebounds. But the Wolverines went 0-7 from beyond the 3-point arc, and star guard Daniel Horton ended the half with 2 fouls and 0 points. Meanwhile Illinois was 5-15 in 3's , including one at the first half buzzer, to take a 31-25 lead into the locker room.
CBS Announcer Billy Packer was still optimistic about Michigan's chances however, saying, "Michigan's advantage is their insider strength. The Illinois lead notwithstanding, Michigan could wear them down inside in the second half -- that's what other teams have done to the Illini this year."
However, this was not to be. Michigan hung tough and at the 6:45 mark the Illini lead was still six, 50-44. But then Michigan comitted two quick turnovers, missed a slam, and didn't get a shot off in time, and at the 4:20 mark Illinois' lead was 13, 57-44. And there at 13 it would stay, with the final score 67-52.
In the end Michigan's cold three-point shooting (3-12, compared to 10-27 for Illinois) and numerous turnovers (11 in the second half, 18 overall), combined with below average game from Daniel Horton (only 6 points) were too much for the Wolverines to overcome.
Michigan goes to 12-6 overall on the season and 3-4 in the Big Ten. They have a week off before hosting #21 Purdue (14-6, 4-3) next Saturday.
Illinois Downs Men's Hoopsters
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