Michigan Drops Big Ten Quarterfinal Contest to Illinois

Site: Indianapolis, Ind. (Conseco Fieldhouse)
Event: Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals
Score: Illinois 60, Michigan 50
Records: U-M (20-13), Illinois (24-8)
Next U-M Event: TBA

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A strong second half helped lead Illinois (No. 25 ESPN/USA Today) to a 60-50 victory over the University of Michigan men's basketball team on Friday evening (March 13) in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse. Illinois shot 46 percent (23-of-50) from the field, including 61.9 percent (13-of-21) in the second half, while U-M shot just 33.3 percent (19-of-57) as it is eliminated from the conference tournament.

Junior forward DeShawn Sims (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Pershing) led the Wolverines with 15 points and eight rebounds, while freshman guard Zack Novak(Chesterton, Ind./Chesterton) added 10 points and seven rebounds.

Freshman guard Stu Douglass(Carmel, Ind./Carmel) gave the Maize and Blue its first lead of the contest, 12-11, with the triple from the right wing eight minutes into the contest. A pair of up-and-under layups by senior/junior forward Zack Gibson(Grand Blanc, Mich./Grand Blanc), both off assists from sophomore/freshman guard Laval Lucas-Perry(Flint, Mich./Powers Catholic), gave U-M a 24-20 lead, its largest of the half, with five minutes to play in the opening stanza.

Illinois battled back to take a 25-24 lead into halftime as neither team held a lead larger than four in an opening 20 minutes that featured four ties and eight lead changes. Both teams struggled from the field as Illinois shot just 34.5 percent (10-of-29) and Michigan was only 30 percent (9-of-30) before the intermission.

Mike Davis and Demetri McCamey had a game-high 10 points apiece for Illinois at the half, while three Wolverines -- Sims, Gibson and sophomore guard Manny Harris(Detroit, Mich./Detroit Redford --led the way for Michigan with four each.

A quick 8-2 burst by Illinois to start the second half stretch the lead to 33-26 lead, forcing a Michigan timeout within the first four minutes of the half. The Illini run reached 10-0 before it was ended by a Novak trifecta, cutting the Illinois lead to six, 35-29.

The Illini then used a 13-0 spurt to push its lead to 50-31 with 11:30 remaining in the second half.

Illinois' lead reached 20, but U-M continued to fight back, using three-pointers from Douglass, Harris and Sims to spark a 13-0 run that cut the Illini lead to 54-47 with 3:30 to play. But that is also close as U-M could get as the Illini held the Maize and Blue to just three points in the final three minutes to advance to the semifinals.

Davis led Illinois with 22 points and 10 rebounds in the contest.

Michigan will now await seeding for the 65-team field of the 2009 NCAA Tournament. Pairings will be announced on Sunday (March 15) at 6 p.m. on CBS.

Contact: Tom Wywrot (734) 763-4423

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