Wolverines Knock Off Illini 49-43

The Michigan basketball team played to a six-point win over the visiting Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday afternoon at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor. Manny Harris led the Wolverines scorers with 14 points while fellow freshman Kelvin Grady added 12 points of his own. Michigan is now 5-10 in Big 10 play and has won four of its last five games.

ANN ARBOR -- The University of Michigan basketball team improved to 5-10 on the season and won its fourth game in five tries with a low-scoring 49-43 win over the Illinois Fighting Illini on Saturday afternoon at Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor.

Michigan freshmen guards Manny Harris and Kelvin Grady paced the Michigan offense, which shot just 30.4 percent, with 26 of the Wolverines 49 points in the six-point win. Manny Harris finished with 14 points. Kelvin Grady added 12.

"It was still a tough game for me. Illinois played good defense, but it was more of the fact that we are playing back-to-back games and running every day in practice. My legs kind of caught up with me. It was nice to come in and gut it out," Harris said.

Both teams struggled to put the ball in the net through the first 20 minutes. After Michigan opened up the game with a bucket by Anthony Wright 43 seconds into the game.

Illinois battled back with a 6-0 run to give them the advantage in what became a back-and-forth half. The lead held until a Kelvin Grady put Michigan back on top just less than five minutes in.

Michigan continued to pressure and built a 17-12 lead on an Ekpe Udoh jumper with 7:51 left on the clock, but a three-ball from Chester Frazier and a jumper from Trent Meacham left the teams knotted at 17-17.

The teams continued to exchange buckets until Illinois his a three-point shop just before the halftime buzzer to take a 24-22 lead into the break.

Illinois extended that lead over the opening minutes of the second half. Meachum and Frazier connected again to help the Illini establish their biggest lead of the game, a five-point advantage at 31-26. From then on, however, the Wolverines were able to begin pulling away.

Combining for 18 of Michigan's 27 second half points, Harris and Grady drew Michigan back even. Then Harris drained a jumper to put Michigan on top 37-35. Michigan didn't look back.

Grady and Harris continued scoring for the Wolverines, and with just less than three minutes, the Wolverines established a five-point lead at 43-38.

Illinois drew within three on a long jumper in the final moments, but Kelvin Grady put the game out of reach with a pair of free throws as the Wolverines improved to 9-18 on the season.

Michigan next returns to the floor on Tuesday night as the Wolverines host the Northwestern Wildcats.

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