Feb. 12, 2012
With the win, Michigan improves to 19-7 for the season and 9-4 in Big Ten play. The Wolverines remain undefeated (14-0) at Crisler Center this season, and have won 15 straight at home dating back to last season.
The Wolverines have won their last two contests over the Fighting Illini. With Sunday's win, Michigan improves to 73-85 (69-80*) all-time against Illinois. The Wolverines are now 48-28 against the Fighting Illini in Ann Arbor. Head coach John Beilein is now 4-5 against Illinois in his Michigan career.
Sunday's matchup marked the first of two meetings between Michigan and Illinois this season. The Wolverines will travel to Champaign to take on the Fighting Illini on March 1.
Michigan had its highest-scoring first half of Big Ten play this season, netting 37 points on 56 percent (13-of-23) shooting. The Wolverines' highest first-half total for the season was 41 against Alabama A&M on Dec. 17.
The Wolverines' defense limited Illinois center Meyers Leonard, who averages 13.5 points per game, to just five points. U-M held Leonard without a field goal for the final 37:59 of the game.
Tim Hardaway Jr. led the Wolverines with 15 points on 5-of-9 (56 percent) shooting, including 2-of-3 (67 percent) from three-point range. It was the 13th time he has led U-M in scoring, and his first time reaching double figures in his last three games. Hardaway also tied a game high with three assists, and added three rebounds.
Trey Burke scored 14 points against Illinois, marking his fifth consecutive game scoring double-digit points. He has reached double figures in all but three games this season. Burke also tied a game high with three assists, and added two rebounds and two steals.
Coming off the bench, Evan Smotrycz scored 13 points -- his highest total in Big Ten play this season. Smotrycz also led the Wolverines with a career-high four steals, and added three rebounds and two assists.
Zack Novak came up one rebound short of his sixth career double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing a team-high nine rebounds. It was the sixth time this season he has led the Wolverines in rebounding. Novak also tied a game high with three assists and added a steal.
Four Wolverines scored double-digit points in the win -- Tim Hardaway Jr. (15), Trey Burke (14), Evan Smotrycz (13), and Zack Novak (12). It was the seventh time this season that at least four players reached double figures in points for U-M, and the first since the win at Purdue on Jan. 24.
Michigan lost the rebounding battle 33-27. The Wolverines are now 6-5 this season when they are outrebounded by their opponent.
The Wolverines had 13 assists and turned the ball over nine times. It was the ninth time this season, and the third time in the last four games, that Michigan had less than 10 turnovers. U-M is 14-3 this season when registering a positive assist/turnover ratio.
U-M's defense forced Illinois into 13 turnovers, leading to 19 points. This marked the Wolverines' most points off opponent turnovers in Big Ten play this season. Michigan is 12-3 this season when it commits fewer turnovers than its opponent.
Michigan outscored Illinois in points in the paint (26-18), points off turnovers (19-12) and fast-break points (10-0). The Fighting Illini outscored the Wolverines in second-chance points (9-4).
The game featured three ties and three lead changes. Michigan never trailed by more than five, led by as many as 14, and never trailed after a pair of Evan Smotrycz free throws gave U-M a 21-20 lead with 8:08 remaining in the first half.
The Wolverines are now 8-5 this season when wearing their maize jerseys.
For the eighth straight game, Michigan went with the starting lineup of Trey Burke, Stu Douglass, Tim Hardaway Jr., Zack Novak and Jordan Morgan. Douglass has now appeared in 128 consecutive games for the Wolverines, having not missed a single game in his career.
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