Both teams were scorching hot in the first half, shooting over 50%, with Michigan taking a 46-44 lead into the break. Senior forward LaVell Blanchard hit four first-half three-pointers and scored sixeen first-half points overall, and freshman guard Lester Abram added sixteen as well.
Illinois came out hot in the second half to go ahead 53-49. But then Blanchard hit three more three-point shots and junior forward Bernard Robinson added a fourth, and at the 9:30 mark Michigan led 69-64. The Illinois got hot again and with 4:20 left led 75-70. Once again Michigan made a run, this time led by two three-point-plays by freshman center Chris Hunter, to take a 76-75 lead with 1:58 left. But by this time Illinois was double-teaming Blanchard and no one else on Michigan could pick up the scoring slack -- Illinois scored the next seven points and won it 82-79.
Blanchard led Michigan with 26 points and seven rebounds, but other than Abram in the first half, no one else on Michigan really had the scoring touch. Abram's 16 first-half points were second for Michigan in scoring overall. Freshman point guard Daniel Horton had twelve points on 4-17 shooting, and frosh center Graham Brown added ten points and nine rebounds.
With the loss Michigan falls to 9-5 in the Big Ten with two regular season games left, Wednesday at Penn State and next Saturday against Purdue. The Wolverines are a game off the conference lead now, with Illinois and Wisconsin both having four losses.
U-M Falls To Illlini
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