Michigan Wolverines Basketball: Michigan Basketball Falls To Illinois, 76-53
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No. 2 Michigan Basketball Falls To No. 4 Illinois, 76-53

Michigan Wolverines basketball dropped just its second game of the season Tuesday night at home, with Illinois coming out victorious by a final score of 76-53.

Here is a recap of how the entire game unfolded.

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First Half

Michigan sophomore wing Franz Wagner got the scoring going on the Wolverines' first possession, knocking down a short jumper from the right baseline.

In the Illini's first five possessions, they missed two shots — with both attempts coming from sophomore center Kofi Cockburn — and turned it over three times.

Illinois freshman guard Andre Curbelo tied things up with a layup at 2-2 with 16:30 to go. That was the score at the under-16 media timeout at the 15:43 mark, with both teams starting off cold. Michigan made just one of its first six attempts and Illinois was 1-of-7.

Illinois senior guard Da'Monte Williams then broke the tie by nailing a three over Michigan's zone defense with the shot clock winding down at 15:37, off an assist from Curbelo.

Michigan senior forward Isaiah Livers scored five-straight points around the 14-minute mark to give the Wolverines a 7-5 edge, nailing a pull-up mid-range jumper before draining a three in transition after a Wagner block on the other end.

The Maize and Blue called a timeout with 10:24 remaining in the half, with the score knotted up at 10-10. Curbelo led all scorers at that time with seven points, while Livers paced Michigan with five. It was a defensive battle early, with both teams combining for 8-of-32 shooting to start.

Illinois went on a 9-2 run from there, with Curbelo scoring four more points during that stretch, which was capped off by a freshman guard Adam Miller three-pointer off an assist from redshirt junior guard/forward Jacob Grandison. The Illini had hit four of their last five shot attempts at that point. Howard called his second timeout of the game at the 7:11 mark with his squad down 19-12.

Finally, Dickinson got on the board at the 6:19 mark to make it 19-14, Illinois. But on the other end, just one minute later, he committed his second foul on a Cockburn and-one to make it 21-14, and was forced to sit for the rest of the half.

The Wolverines went on a mini 4-0 run with Dickinson on the bench, behind a jumper by senior guard Chaundee Brown and a nifty post move and finish by fifth-year senior forward Austin Davis. The Illini led, 21-18, at the media timeout with 3:58 until the break.

Illinois scored a quick four points out of the timeout and extended the lead out to 25-18, and then made it 29-20 — the largest lead of the night — at 2:09 after a Cockburn hit from the post.

A senior guard Trent Frazier long two with 37 seconds to go gave Illinois its largest lead of the night, 33-22, which was the score at halftime.

Michigan shot just 9-of-28 (32 percent) at the break, while Illinois was 13-of-32 (41 percent). Curbelo led all scorers with 11 points and was the only player in double-figures. Illinois had seven offensive rebounds in the half that led to 10 second-chance points.

Second Half

Michigan trimmed the lead down to eight, 37-29, behind a Smith triple at the 18:12 mark, but Illinois came charging back, scoring eight straight, highlighted by a step-back three from Miller at 15:56 — at which point Howard called his third timeout of the contest to settle his team down. The score was 45-29 at that point. Illinois hit five of its first six shots out of the halftime break.

The score sat at 47-31 at the under-16 media timeout. After taking a fall to the floor, Livers limped over to the bench area and was holding what appeared to be his lower leg or foot.

A Frazier triple from the top of the key at the 12:46 mark gave Illinois a 21-point lead, 55-34. The senior had eight second-half points at that point.

The score was 57-36 at the media timeout with 11:16 remaining. Illinois had hit 10 of its 17 attempts from the field in the second half, and grabbed five offensive rebounds after the half (12 second-chance points).

Illinois opened up its largest lead of the game, which was 23, at the 10:27 mark, with Frazier finishing on a running layup. The Illini led, 59-36, at that point.

At 9:55, Wagner was called for a flagrant foul on Frazier while he was going up for a shot. He knocked down both free throws to make it 61-36. With the Illini then having possession after the flagrant, he nailed a step-back three to make it 64-36 with 9:42 to go.

The Michigan coaching staff was called for a technical foul with 7:26 to go in the game, with Howard going after the officiating crew. Frazier connected on one free throw to five Illinois a 67-40 lead.

With 3:53 to go at a media timeout, Illinois held a 71-47 lead and had the game all but wrapped up. Michigan emptied its bench at that point, putting in the reserves.

All told, after garbage time, the final score was 76-53, with Illinois coming out on top.

The Illini shot 47 percent from the field, while the Wolverines hit just 35 percent of their shots. Frazier led all scorers with 22 points, while Michigan senior guard Eli Brooks led Michigan with 11.

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