Feb. 12, 2012
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Center)
Score: #22 Michigan 70, Illinois 61
Records: U-M (19-7; 9-4 Big Ten), Illinois (16-9; 5-7 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Feb. 18 -- vs. Ohio State (Crisler Center), 9 p.m. (TV: ESPN)
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan men's basketball team (No. 22 AP/No. 25 ESPN/USA Today) had four players score in double digits as the Wolverines took down Illinois, 70-61, and improved to 14-0 at home on Sunday afternoon (Feb. 12) inside the Crisler Center.
Sophomore guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (Miami, Fla./Palmetto Senior) scored a team-high 15 points, senior guard Zack Novak (Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) had 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds, sophomore forward Evan Smotrycz (Reading, Mass./New Hampton Prep [N.H.]) tallied 13 points and four steals, and freshman guard Trey Burke (Columbus, Ohio/Northland HS) added 14 points.
Michigan shot 50 percent (23-of-46) from the field, including 44 percent (7-of-16) from behind the three-point line in the game. The Wolverines also picked up 10 steals, scoring 19 points off Illini turnovers.
After committing two quick turnovers of its own, U-M went on a 13-3 run to take a 15-10 advantage at the 11:12 mark in the first half. Novak and Burke got things going with back-to-back fast-break layups, off steals on the defensive end, followed by triples from Hardaway and Smotrycz, respectively.
Michigan then went a perfect 7-for-7 from the field over the next seven minutes to extend its lead to eight (34-26) but only converted 1-for-5 in the last three minutes of the half and entered the locker room with a 37-31 edge.
U-M shot 57 percent (13-of-23) from the floor, including 57 percent (4-of-7) from behind the arc, and converted a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line in the opening half. Smotrycz led with team highs in points (12), steals (2) and assists (2) off the bench.
After the break, Novak stole the ball from Illinois center Myers Leonard and passed it ahead to senior guard Stu Douglass (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) for a fastbreak layup. Then, following a three-pointer by Novak, the Wolverines took their first 10-point lead, 44-34, over the Illini when Douglass drove through two defenders in the lane and converted another layup at the 15:40 mark.
Michigan earned its largest lead of the game (14) with nine minutes to play off a three-pointer by junior guard Matt Vogrich (Lake Forest, Ill./Lake Forest) followed by a layup by sophomore/junior Jordan Morgan (Detroit, Mich./University of Detroit Jesuit), and it did it again two minutes later with the exact same plays. However, Illinois answered with a 7-0 run to cut U-M's lead to 58-51 with five minutes left in the game. The teams exchanged baskets for the remainder of the game, but the Wolverines held court to pick up their second straight victory.
U-M will return to Crisler next Saturday (Feb. 18) looking to avenge an earlier loss to Ohio State, currently ranked No. 3. Tipoff is slated for 9 p.m. and the game will be televised on ESPN.
Contact: Tom Wywrot, Whitney Dixon (734) 763-4423