Huge second half gives No. 7 Michigan an impressive 71-58 win over streaking Illinois
During the final 20 minutes, though, the Wolverines looked like their old selves again.
No. 7 Michigan was running, gunning and flying in the second half, out-scoring Illinois by 16 points after the break during an impressive 71-58 win over visiting Illinois.
Michigan sophomore Trey Burke led the way with 26 points and 8 assists, and in the process, became just the seventh sophomore in school history to eclipse the 1,000-point mark.
The Wolverines improve to 23-4, 10-4 on the season -- and snap Illinois' (20-9, 7-8) five-game winning streak.
After languishing through a so-so first half, Michigan found itself down a triple at the break after Brandon Paul banked in a long ball at the buzzer.
The second half, though, offered a glimpse at the team that was so impressive during the season's first three months.
Thanks to its interior defense and hustle, Michigan rattled off an impressive 11-0 run early in the second, highlighted by a pair of thunderous Glenn Robinson III jams and a Burke triple.
Illinois fought back to get within four with less than eight minutes to go, but Burke then took the game into his own hands.
Burke hustled for a loose ball before finding Tim Hardaway Jr. for a streaking layup. He then hit a triple from the corner and found Caris LeVert for another long bomb 20 seconds later -- capping an 8-0 run and putting the Wolverines up 12 with 5:41 to go.
Illinois never got any closer, as the Wolverines led by as many as 17 in the second half.
Hardaway finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds, and Robinson finished with 10. Michigan scored 27 points off Illinois turnovers.
-- Trey Burke etches his place in history with another terrific offensive performance. He joins Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Phil Hubbard, Mike McGee, Louis Bullock and Manny Harris as the seven sophomores in Michigan history to eclipse the 1,000-point barrier.
-- Tim Hardaway Jr. played with a ton of effort in this one defensively. Stuff that didn't necessarily show up on the stat sheet, but he was very active, got his hands on a lot of loose balls. Great hustle from Hardaway.
-- Michigan turned defense into offense Sunday, scoring 27 points off turnovers.
-- Jordan Morgan didn't get the start (Mitch McGary did), but he had his best game since injuring his ankle a month ago. The 6-foot-8 junior forward sparked Michigan's second-half run by drawing a charge, hustling for offensive boards and finding Glenn Robinson III with a beautiful behind-the-back look to Robinson for a slam.
-- Freshman wing Caris LeVert showed little-to-no sluggishness from an ankle injury. LeVert went for 8 points off the bench, and played solid perimeter defense as well.
-- Illinois battered Michigan on the offensive glass early in this one, and that was the difference in the first half. The Illini got to eight offensive rebounds in the first 20 minutes, while Michigan grabbed just three. Michigan took care of that in the second half, though, as Illinois did not get another offensive board the rest of the way.
-- Nik Stauskas really, really struggled to get anything going in this one. He finished 0 of 5 from the floor in a scoreless effort.
ISSUE OF THE DAY: REVISITED
Michigan's defense was suspect in the first half, but during the second, the Wolverines tightened things up big-time.
Jordan Morgan looked like himself again, Tim Hardaway Jr and Caris LeVert were active and Michigan scored 27 points off turnovers.
A strong step in the right direction for the Wolverines.
Did the second half remind you of how Michigan was playing in January? Is this a step in the right direction? Or do you need to see more?
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