Michigan 71, Illinois 58

Dylan Burkhardt

imageIt took Michigan 20 minutes to wake up on Sunday afternoon but the Wolverines finally began to resemble the team that cruised through the first 21 games of the season with just one loss.

In the first half, Illinois dominated the offensive glass, grabbing eight offensive boards for 13 second chance points, while uncharacteristic turnovers bogged down a usually efficient Wolverine attack. But Michigan corrected its problems in the second half. The Wolverines didn’t surrender an offensive rebound in the second half and outscored the Illini 43-27 in the second period to coast to a 71-58 victory.

Illinois hung close through much of the second half until Trey Burke spearheaded a 9-0 Michigan run to extend Michigan’s lead to 12 points with 5:43 to play.

Burke scored his 1,000th point in a Wolverine jersey and led the way with 26 points and eight assists, on 8-of-11 shooting with just one turnover, while Tim Hardaway Jr. and Glenn Robinson III also reached double figures with 13 and 10 points respectively. Jordan Morgan was quiet on the stat sheet (1 point and 6 rebounds) but provided a critical boost to a previously struggling Wolverine defensive unit.

  • YpsiTerrier

    For a team with some theoretically talented players, Illinois sure has a glass jaw. They rolled over and died with ten to play. However, Michigan delivered the punch. Would be interested, Dylan, to hear how you thought Morgan looked — a step slow? Or as reliable as we’ll need him to be?

  • Lynette Gascoigne

    Jordan Morgan WAS the key to that win, make no mistake! The stat sheet doesn’t tell the whole story. His +/- for that game has to be unreal! WTG Big Fella!

    • Northern Blue

      Agreed. We all now know what the maize and blue have been missing in their tough stretch there. Need to make sure he is completely healthy for the two big games at the end of the schedule. But props have to still go to Trey, I am not sure he made a mistake all game. As annoying as Dakich is he made one good point when trey was in a end of shotclock situation and didn’t go to his step back 3 but drove and dished back out to Tim. He managed the game and took what the defence gave him, and hit big shots. Looked like the best player in the nation today, completely controlled the pace of the game.

      • Mattski

        Yes. Heck with Oladipo!

  • mistersuits

    With Morgan on the floor Michigan was +18. I know Trey put up 26 and 9 but Morgan was the biggest difference, without his defense and rebounding it’s a totally different game.

    • YpsiTerrier

      Thanks, only had GameCast to go on.

    • gobluemd16

      It was honestly amazing to see how much of a difference he made on defense and rebounding as well (on both ends). I wonder why he was the third big to enter the game, after McGary and Horford. He was clearly the best of the three this afternoon

      • Mattski

        Coach says he’s still hurting and was on scout team all week. Still getting healthy, despite what was reported.

  • rlcBlue

    LeVert also played a very nice game off the bench. In retrospect, it’s not surprising that Michigan’s youngest player would benefit most from the “mini-camp”.

  • gobluemd16

    Nik’s going to have to give more on the offensive end because his defense is way behind the rest of the team. Caris could cut into his minutes for sure if he continues to play the way he did today, he was really active. Nik is still very slow and has a ton of problems with ball screens on D. Hopefully he can find his groove again at PSU

    • Mattski

      Watch the end of the Beilein interview. He said the help was staying with Trey on the screens and the reason that Trey was open was that Nik was in the corner. He was not worried about it at all.

      • blackie6

        yeah, to me Nik’s offense is the least bit concerning…. other guys are open due to his early season terror…. But his D….. that’s where Caris could start taking minutes….