Rapid Reaction: Michigan 71, Illinois 58
February, 24, 2013
By Chantel Jennings | WolverineNation.com
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- A few quick thoughts from Michigan's 71-58 victory over Illinois.
Overview: Call him a Renaissance Man. In Sunday's win over Illinois, Michigan sophomore Trey Burke hit the 1,000-point scoring mark by varying it up for the Wolverines. A steal and layup, here. A finger roll, there. A deep 3 for good measure. Some fast breaks. And why not a pair of free throws?
Burke was the obvious highlight -- in what was mostly a sloppy game -- becoming just the seventh true sophomore at UM to hit the 1,000-point mark, joining the likes of Jalen Rose, Phil Hubbard and Chris Webber.
But here are some other thoughts on the Wolverines’ late surging win over Illinois.
Turning point: With a slim three-point lead and just less than 16 minutes left in the second half, Jordan Morgan made a no-look pass to Glenn Robinson, who threw down a dirty dunk, energizing a near dead Crisler Center. During the following timeout, for the first time during the game, Michigan looked relaxed, exchanging high fives. But Robinson then followed that up with yet another dunk, extending the Wolverines’ lead to seven. From there, it remained close, but UM controlled the game better, and finished out with a win.
Key player: Burke, as always, proved vital for the Wolverines’ success. Following his 1,000th point (which came on a free throw), he didn’t even react. It was business as usual as the sophomore finished with a game-high 26 points, eight assists and just one turnover.
Key stat: 16:30 -- The amount of time that passed before Michigan even took a lead over Illinois. The following three and a half minutes were nothing spectacular, and UI would take the lead going into halftime. But it was an especially sloppy stretch for Michigan. The usually strong 3-point shooting team made just two attempts from behind the arc in the first half (29 percent) and only made it to the free throw line three times, putting together a frustrating half everywhere on the floor. Combine that with their six turnovers, and it was a 16:30 that John Beilein will be glad to forget.
Miscellaneous: Michigan improved to 16-0 at home this season with its fifth-straight win over the Illini. … Freshman center Mitch McGary picked up his second career start. He finished with 6 points, 3 rebounds and a block. … Brandon Paul, who averages 16 points per game, was held to 10 and forced into four turnovers while dishing out just one assist.
Next game: The Wolverines close out the conference schedule with two less-threatening road games at Purdue and Penn State, but their two weekends at home with Michigan State and Indiana will provide plenty of excitement. Illinois heads home for a matchup with Nebraska, its last home game of the season.