Michigan drops Illinois to 2-5 in Big Ten play

SHARE Michigan drops Illinois to 2-5 in Big Ten play

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Michigan wore blue uniforms at home, not its traditional white gear, to fire up its players and send Illinois a message.

It seemed to work.

D.J. Wilson had 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists, leading the Wolverines to a 66-57 win over the Fighting Illini.

“We weren’t the white-collar team today,” Wilson said Saturday.

That was a thinly veiled shot at Illinois center Maverick Morgan, who called the Wolverines a “white-collar team traditionally,” on Jan. 11 after a 16-point win over them.

Even though the comments appeared to make Michigan more motivated to win the rematch, Morgan insisted he didn’t regret what he said.

“It’s how I felt after the first game, and it’s how I still feel about the first game,” Morgan said.

Michigan’s Derrick Walton had 11 of his 13 points in the second half and grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds and Zak Irvin scored 15 for the Wolverines (13-7, 3-4 Big Ten).

The Fighting Illini (12-8, 2-5) didn’t have a player in double digits until there was 4:23 left, when Malcom Hill made a jumper. Hill finished with 16 points.

The Wilson-led Wolverines took control with a 13-3 run midway through the first half. The 6-foot-10 junior forward helped Michigan turn a one-point deficit into a 22-13 lead with 10 points in fewer than eight minutes. He made a 3-pointer, baskets off offensive rebounds and a free throw during the dominant stretch.

“He was absolutely terrific,” Illinois coach John Groce said. “He was a real difference.”

Michigan led 34-24 at halftime and was ahead by as many as 21 in the second half before the Illini rallied to make the score look relatively respectable.

The Latest
Sunday, minutes after the most improbable of the 14 losses — the Bears led by 21 late in the third quarter — players tried to put a brave face on.
Hendricks has a team option for next year.
The Bears blew a 21-point lead in Sunday’s 31-28 loss to the woeful Broncos, setting a new low in a season already filled with them. Here are three takeaways:
The offense — at least at first — wasn’t that bad.
Jermaine Sykes, 44, was in the 1000 block of North Milwaukee Avenue when someone approached him and began firing shots.