Goree Propels Michigan Past Illinois on the Road
Cyesha Goree

Feb. 16, 2014

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Site: Champaign, Ill. (State Farm Center)
Score: Michigan 70, Illinois 63
Records: U-M (16-10, 7-6 Big Ten), ILL (9-17, 2-11 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Wednesday, Feb. 19 -- at Indiana (Bloomington, Ind.), 7 p.m.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Junior forward Cyesha Goree (Grand Rapids, Mich./Wyoming Park) scored 30 points and grabbed 19 rebounds as the University of Michigan women's basketball team hung on for a 70-63 win at Illinois on Sunday afternoon (Feb. 16) at the State Farm Center.

Goree scored her 30 points on 12-for-15 shooting with 19 rebounds -- 12 offensive and seven defensive -- to become just the second Wolverine to go for 30 points and 19 rebounds in a game. Freshman guard Siera Thompson (Gardena, Calif./Serra) scored 11 points with five assists and junior guard Shannon Smith (Gastonia, N.C./Forestview [Trinity Valley CC]) chipped in 10 points, five rebounds and two assists. Junior guard Nicole Elmblad (St. Ignace, Mich./LaSalle) scored eight points with 11 rebounds and six assists in 40 minutes of action. Michigan outrebounded the Illini, 48-19, grabbing more offensive rebounds (21) than Illinois had total rebounds (19).

Illinois took its first lead of the day at the 10:49 mark, going up 17-16 on a jumper from Taylor Tuck. Michigan answered with an eventual 12-2 run, getting eight straight points from Goree that were bookended by a basket and two free throws from Elmblad. Elmblad's free throws at the 6:56 mark of the first half gave Michigan a nine-point lead, 28-19.

Michigan never let its lead get below the rest of the half, using a steady dose of Goree to hit the half with a 40-34 advantage. Goree led the way, scoring 19 points on 7-for-9 shooting and grabbing 10 rebounds. Elmblad chipped in six points and three other Wolverines scored four points. Michigan outrebounded the Illini, 20-7, in the first half and took advantage of 14 second-chance points.

Michigan scored the first four points of the second half for a 10-point, 44-34, lead to force an early Illini timeout at the 17:28 mark.

Illinois slashed the Michigan lead to four points, 52-48, on a three-point play with 11:33 remaining in the contest as Michigan called a timeout. An Illinois putback on a pair of missed free throws with 10:52 showing on the clock pushed the Illinois run to 9-0 and cut Michigan's lead to two.

Illinois took its first lead since the early part of the game, 53-52 off an Alexis Smith three-pointer on its ensuing possession with 9:44 showing on the game clock. Thompson then nailed her first three-pointer of the game, followed by four points from Goree to put Michigan back on top, 59-53 with 6:17 left. Two more Goree layups followed an Illinois score to put the Maize and Blue back up by eight, 63-55, with 5:11 left.

Six straight Illinois points cut the Michigan lead to two, 63-61, at the 3:11 mark but Michigan went 7-for-8 from the free throw line the rest of the game while surrendering just one more basket for the final margin. Smith was 4-for-4, Elmblad was 2-for-2 and Goree was 1-for-2 down the stretch for the Wolverines.

Michigan returns to action on Wednesday (Feb. 19) at Indiana. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

Contact: Sarah VanMetre (vanmetre@umich.edu)

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