Feb. 6, 2011
Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Crisler Arena)
Score: Michigan 69, Illinois 59
Records: U-M (14-9, 7-4 Big Ten), Illinois (7-16, 2-9 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Feb. 13 -- at Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich.), 2:30 p.m.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Senior guard Veronica Hicks (Chicago, Ill./Thornwood) posted 18 points in the first half en route to matching her career high with 24 points to lead the University of Michigan women's basketball team to a 69-59 win over Illinois on Sunday (Feb. 6) at Crisler Arena.
Hicks led all scorers with her 24 points and added a team-best eight rebounds. She was joined in double figures by sophomore center/forward Rachel Sheffer (Watervliet, Mich./Watervliet), who tallied 12 points for her sixth consecutive game in double figures. Sophomore guard Kate Thompson (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) also contributed 13 points off the bench.
With Michigan holding a slim 50-48 lead midway through the second half, Thompson sank three free throws that fueled a 13-2 Michigan run, pushing U-M's lead to 63-50 -- the largest lead of the game -- at the 5:27 mark. Illinois did not get closer than nine points the rest of the way, as the Wolverines snapped a two-game losing streak.
Michigan capitalized at the free throw line, shooting 81.8 percent (18-of-22) while limiting Illinois to only 5-of-9 from the stripe. Sheffer led the way at the free throw line, going 6-of-6.
Illinois jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, but Hicks scored U-M's first eight points to jumpstart the offense. The Wolverines tied the game at 12-12 behind a pair at the line from Sheffer and a basket from junior guard Carmen Reynolds (Hilliard, Ohio/Davidson).
U-M took its first lead of the game on a triple from Hicks at the 10:05 mark and from that point never trailed. Michigan closed the half on a 12-5 run to take a 38-29 lead into the locker room. Michigan shot 50 percent (14-of-28) from the floor in the first half, including 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from long range.
The Wolverines will take off some time before heading to East Lansing, Mich., next Sunday (Feb. 13) to take on in-state rival Michigan State in a nationally televised game on ESPN2. Tipoff is set for 2:30 p.m. at MSU's Breslin Center. Fans can also listen live to Matt Park and Jennifer Smith on WTKA AM 1050.
Contact: Jessica Poole (734) 763-4423