Illinois defeated Michigan 66-51 and handed the Wolverines their fourth loss of the season. On a frigid night in the Land of Lincoln Michigan was unable to get rolling on three point shooting as the Wolverines were 7-26 on threes. Bruce Weber’s team rode Demetri McCamey in the first half as he erupted for 15 points to keep the Illini within 1 point at the break. Michigan was able to take that lead thanks to 9 second chance points. This was the first game of the season that Illinois had trailed at the half.
McCamey would only score 2 second half points but the Illini rode Mike Tisdale in the second half as he scored the first 9 Ilini points to open the second half. Once Illinois went up 35-34 Michigan would never regain the lead. Tisdale finished the night with 24 points on 10-12 shooting.
The Wolverines could not get any offensive rhythm in the second half. DeShawn Sims really struggled shooting a rugged 3-14 from the field for 7 points. Sims, the Big Ten’s leading rebounder, only mustered up 2 boards in the game. Manny Harris was the only Michigan player in double digits as he scored 20 points.
When Michigan is winning they have several players scoring in double digits. They have more assists then turnovers. They knock down some clutch three pointers and DeShawn Sims plays well.
On this night they had one player in double digits, 8 assists against 11 turnovers, 7-26 from downtown and an off night from Sims.
Zack Novak scored 5 points and grabbed 9 rebounds as he continues to defy the “experts” with his determined play.
Road to 21 wins: I had not projected Michigan to win this game. It does not derail the projection and this is not a bad loss. I think it will be important for Michigan to beat Ohio State on Saturday night. They don’t want to head to Penn State on a two game skid.
Notes: Michigan has not won at Illinois since 1995.