N O T E S
Michigan is now 9-11 all-time in Big Ten Tournament games. The Wolverines are 2-6 in quarterfinal games and 0-2 against the Fighting Illini in the conference tournament. U-M falls to 71-83 all-time against Illinois overall and 1-2 in neutral site games.
Michigan has lost in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals in each of the last three seasons and for the sixth time in the events 11-year history.
DeShawn Sims' 15 points give him 28 games scoring in double figures. He is the only Wolverine to have back-to-back double-digit scoring games in the Big Ten Tournament. He also added a team-best eight rebounds.
Zack Novak scored 10 points for his eighth game in double figures this season. He finished 4-of-8 from the field with two long-range buckets in 36 minutes of action.
Stu Douglass had a career-best five rebounds tonight. It tops the three boards he recorded earlier this season at Penn State on Feb. 9 and Iowa on Jan. 11.
For just the ninth time this season, Manny Harris failed to score in double figure; he closed with nine points. He added three rebounds, four assists, one block and one steal in 38 minutes.
Manny Harris has started all 65 games in his Michigan career. He is the only Wolverine on the roster that has started and played in every game of his career. Stu Douglass is the only other Wolverine to have not missed a game, playing in 33 straight contests, with 21 starts.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach John Beilein
Opening statement... "Illinois played great, both offensively and defensively. (Mike) Davis was terrific and Bruce (Weber's) game plan was terrific. Their defense -- especially for a couple of spans in the second half -- was just too much for us to handle. We really had trouble with the pressure they were putting on us. We didn't respond and that was uncharacteristic for how we have responded over the last month. We will learn a lot from that."
On Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims tonight offensively... "The Illinois defense was terrific, and it usually is. It was very difficult; they really did a great job of keeping Manny (Harris) from getting comfortable and getting in comfortable positions. Then DeShawn (Sims) got some really good looks, he got 19 shots off, had some good looks and the ball just didn't quite bounce his way, but he'll be ready to bounce back in his next game."
On U-M's late comeback attempt... "They had a 10 of 12-foot jumper that made (the lead) go back to nine when we had it down to seven. That is the way we always want our teams to play. I told them that if we are fortunate enough to have a great day on Sunday, that we will be playing this same type of game. Illinois is good enough to have a great seed and we are going to be one of the ones in the upper part of the seeding bracket, and it is going to be the same game. We are going to have to respond better than we did tonight; it was a great teaching tool for us."
U-M Senior David Merritt
On U-M's chances to make the NCAA Tournament... "Hopefully. We have made a case. We have played everybody this year. We have competed in a tough conference. It is one of the best in the country. We went 9-9 in the conference and we were able to get a win yesterday. Hopefully we have done enough."
U-M Freshman Zack Novak
On feeling fatigued after playing yesterday... "There was a period where there wasn't a media timeout for about eight minutes; it seemed like, in the first half around the five minute mark. That was the only time I remember feeling like there was any fatigue. It felt like it was going both ways. Other that than, no, I didn't feel like that was a huge issue."
On Illinois' run in the second half... "We lost our poise a little bit, on offense, and that led to them getting some open shots. On their offensive end they knocked them down. I think they shot 7-of-10 to start the second half. That is tough to overcome."