No. 23 Michigan Rebounds With Win Over Illinois
Jan. 4, 2009
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -Michigan made its case for staying in The Associated Press' Top 25.
Manny Harris had 16 points and four teammates also scored in double figures for the 23rd-ranked Wolverines in a 74-64 victory over Illinois on Sunday that ended the Illini's seven-game winning streak.
Michigan (11-3, 1-1 Big Ten) needed a victory to give it a chance to stay in the poll after losing to Wisconsin by 12 points this week in the conference opener.
Reserve Calvin Brock led Illinois with 13 points and Alex Legion, who verbally committed in high school to play for Michigan, was booed early and often as he scored 10.
The Fighting Illini (13-2, 1-1) had a road win over No. 9 Purdue on Tuesday and a victory against then-No. 25 Missouri on a neutral court in their streak.
Illinois missed some open shots in the closing minutes and the Wolverines made enough free throws to turn the closely contested game into a double-digit victory.
Michigan was so balanced on offense that it almost had six double-figure scorers for the first time in six years.
DeShawn Sims had 13 points and nine rebounds. Laval Lucas-Perry scored 13 points, Zack Novak had 11 points despite missing much of the second half with a cut above his left eye, Zack Gibson added 10 and Kelvin Grady finished with nine for the Wolverines.
Illinois' Demetri McCamey scored 11 points and Mike Davis had 10. Trent Meacham, one of four Illini entering the game averaging 12.1 points, scored five points on 2-of-9 shooting.
Illinois led 39-38 at halftime after leading by as many as six and trailing by as many as seven.
Lucas-Perry made a 3-pointer early in the second half - after missing five consecutive shots - and connected on another 3 to put Michigan ahead for the first time since it led 16-14.
Those long jumpers led to Gibson's dunk that capped a 14-2 run, giving the Wolverines a 54-48 lead midway through the half.
Chester Frazier's putback of his own miss put the Illini back ahead with 8 1/2 minutes left.
After three lead changes and a tie, Lucas-Perry made a layup just before the shot clock expired and Gibson faked right and drove left for a dunk and a 66-62 lead with 4 minutes to go.
Illinois has won 17 of the last 21 games against Michigan, but has lost four straight in Ann Arbor.