Illinois Falls to Michigan; Area Roundup

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Published on February 25 2013 1:51 pm
Last Updated on February 25 2013 1:51 pm
Written by Millie Lange

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) - Trey Burke had 26 points and eight assists to help No. 7 Michigan bounce back from a slow start to beat Illinois 71-58 Sunday.

The Wolverines (23-4, 10-4 Big Ten) shook off a sluggish first half with a strong second half to win consecutive games for the first time in nearly a month.

The Fighting Illini (20-9, 7-8) had won five straight, a streak that started Feb. 7 by beating top-ranked Indiana.

Michigan played for the first time in a week and looked rusty and sloppy early, turning the ball over the missing open shots. Illinois led by as much as eight points in the first half and didn't trail until Tim Hardaway Jr. had a three-point play with 3:30 to go.

Brandon Paul scored all 10 of points in the first half to help the Illini lead 31-28 at halftime. Paul didn't attempt a shot in the second half.

The Wolverines opened the second half with a 15-3 run, going ahead for good on Burke's 3-pointer with 16:49 left to play and had a nine-point lead with his two free throws that put him over the 1,000-point mark for his career.

Burke joined Phil Hubbard, Mike McGee, Jalen Rose, Chris Webber, Louis Bullock and Manny Harris as the sophomores who have reached the milestone at Michigan. Cazzie Russell, Bill Buntin, Rudy Tomjanovich and Henry Wilmore had 1,000 points in their second seasons after they were ineligible to play as freshmen.

Hardaway Jr. scored 13 and Glen Robinson III had 10 points. Freshman Nik Stauskas, who was averaging 12-plus points, missed all five of his shots and was held scoreless for the second time this season. Fellow freshman guard Caris LeVert took advantage of his opportunity to play more, scoring eight points, one shy of his career high.

D.J. Richardson and Tracy Abrams each scored 10 points for the Illini.

Tyler Griffey's second 3-pointer pulled Illinois within four points with 7:55 left, then Burke made a couple assists and shots within the next 4 minutes to put Michigan ahead 64-49.

Burke helped the Wolverines close the game strong after starting they looked lackluster following their layoff.

Michigan plays Wednesday night at Penn State before hosting rival Michigan State next Sunday in a rematch after losing to the Spartans by 23 points earlier this month.

EIU 59, Northern Illinois 47

DEKALB, Ill.  – Morris Woods scored a game-high 18 points on 7-for-10 shooting to lead the Panther men’s basketball team over in-state foe Northern Illinois, 59-47, in the team’s Ramada Worldwide Bracketbuster game on Saturday afternoon.

The Panthers (9-20) started the second half on an 11-2 run to take a 38-27 advantage with just under 16 minutes left in the game. EIU never trailed for the duration of the contest and led by as much as 13 points (56-43) with 1:41 on the clock. The Huskies (5-20) got within one possession (44-41) with 7:10 left in the game but EIU would go 13-for-19 from the free throw line in the second stanza to seal the victory.

The first half was back and forth as the two teams exchanged the lead 11 times while having the score tied on five occasions. Neither squad led by more than two possessions with EIU leading by three (24-21) with 3:40 left on the clock. Trailing 25-24 with 20 seconds remaining before intermission, Malcolm Herron hit a baseline three pointer to give the Panthers a 27-25 halftime lead.

EIU Women 60, Belmont 43

CHARLESTON, Ill. – Eastern Illinois clamped down on defense Saturday afternoon and the Panthers locked up the Ohio Valley Conference West Division title with a 60-43 win over Belmont in women’s basketball action.  EIU will be guaranteed a one or two seed in the OVC Tournament which starts March 6 in Nashville.

The Panthers limited the Bruins to just 24 percent shooting from the field as they improved to 19-8 overall, 12-2 in the OVC.  Belmont slipped to 15-12, 9-5 in the OVC.  EIU plays at UT Martin on Thursday night with a 7 p.m. start.

Both teams struggled to find any offense in the early going as Belmont let 7-6 with 11:48 left to play in the first half after Adrienne Tarrence hit one of two free throws.  EIU then went on a 13-4 run over the next for minutes as Kelsey Wyss drained a 3-pointer with 7:29 to play to put the Panthers up 19-11.

Ta’Kenya Nixon added three free throws and a pair of jumpers in the final 1:44 of action as EIU stretched the lead to double figures.  Nixon finished with 23 points making 11-of-12 free throws.  She tied Rachel Galligan’s mark for career free throws made with 523.  Nixon added nine rebounds and six assists.