Michigan 71, Illinois 58

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan used a powerful second half surge to overtake Illinois and score a 71-58 Big Ten win Sunday, and stay alive in the conference title race in the process.
The No. 7 Wolverines (23-4, 10-4 Big Ten) trailed almost the entire first half and were down three at the break, but used an 11-3 run in the opening minutes of the second half to take charge, and then dominated most of the rest of the way.
Michigan was led by point guard Trey Burke with 26 points, while Tim Hardaway Jr. added 13 and Glenn Robinson III scored 10.
Illinois (20-9, 7-8) got 10 points each from Brandon Paul, D.J. Richardson and Tracy Abrams.
A Burke 3-pointer gave Michigan a 37-34 lead early in the final half, and a Robinson dunk after a steal, followed by a pair of free throws from Burke, stretched the advantage to 43-34 with just under 15 minutes left.
The Illini made a final push with about 8 minutes to play, drawing within 51-47 on a triple from Tyler Griffey, but Michigan answered quickly with 3-pointers from Burke and Caris LeVert and started to pull away.
The Michigan lead stretched to 64-49 on a Burke jumper with just under 4 minutes left, and the Wolverines closed out the win at the foul line, with Burke hitting five free throws in the final minute and a half.
The Illini, who own three wins over top 10 teams this season, had opened the game with a quick run ignited by 3-pointers. Illinois was on top 13-5 just 5 minutes in before the Wolverines started to find their stride.
A Burke steal and a fastbreak basket at the 13:35 mark of the half pulled Michigan within four, and when Burke found Jon Horford open inside for a dunk that cut it to 13-11.
Illinois' Brandon Paul, fourth in the Big Ten in scoring, led the Illini on a run that pushed the lead back out to eight with under 9 minutes left in the half. Nnanna Egwu's tip-in made it 21-13.
Michigan used an 8-0 run to tie the game with just under 6 minutes to play in the half -- the first tie since the game's opening moments. Robinson dunked on the break after taking a feed from Hardaway.
Michigan's first lead of the opening half came with 3:30 left on a Hardaway layup.
Notes: Michigan is 16-0 at Crisler Center this season. ... Beginning with the trip to Ann Arbor, Illinois will play three of its last four Big Ten games on the road. ... Burke leads the Big Ten in assists (6.9 per game) and assists-to-turnover radio (3.8 to 1). ... Brandon Paul of the Illini is second in the Big Ten in made free throws (119) and attempts (169), trailing only Indiana's Cody Zeller in both categories.

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