Manny Harris’ 14 points lead Michigan to 49-43 win over Illinois
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP)—Manny Harris scored 14 points and Kelvin Grady added 12 as Michigan outlasted Illinois 49-43 on Saturday.
The game matched two teams at the bottom of the Big Ten standings, and the result was one of the worst combined offensive performances in recent memory.
The teams combined to shoot just 31 percent from the floor, with Michigan (9-18, 5-10) winning despite hitting just 30 percent of their shots. The Illini (11-17, 3-12) lost their third straight and failed to break 45 points for the second time in less than a month.
Harris and Grady were the only Wolverines to reach double figures, while Calvin Brock led Illinois with 12 and Trent Meacham added 11.
With both offenses sputtering, Michigan appeared to have the game locked up when they took a six-point lead into the final minute. Brock was fouled by Ekpe Udoh while making a 3-pointer, giving him a chance for a rare four-point play. But he missed the free throw and Michigan clinched the game from the line.
The offenses bottomed out midway through the second half when, in a five-minute stretch, Michigan outscored Illinois 4-0.
That let them take a 37-35 lead, and Grady’s short jumper restored the two-point lead with four minutes to play. Harris’ driving layup doubled the lead 45 seconds later.
After an Illinois free throw, Harris made it 43-38 from the line. The Illini followed with an offensive foul—their 16th turnover of the game—and Michigan moved the margin to seven with two DeShawn Sims free throws.
Brock’s layup on the next possession ended Illinois’ field-goal drought at eight-and-a-half minutes, but it was too late.
Both teams struggled in the first half as well, combining to shoot just 34 percent from the floor and turn the ball over 13 times. The Illini led 24-22, mainly because they made the only two free throws of the half.