Sun, 18 Apr 2021

No. 4 Illinois demolishes No. 2 Michigan

Field Level Media
03 Mar 2021, 12:40 GMT+10

Trent Frazier scored 22 points as No. 4 Illinois rolled to a surprisingly easy 76-53 victory over No. 2 Michigan on Tuesday in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Michigan (18-2, 13-2 Big Ten) was denied a chance to clinch the conference's regular-season championship as their seven-game winning streak ended. The Wolverines have two games remaining, both against in-state rival Michigan State.

Illinois (19-6, 15-4) has gone 10-1 in its last 11 games. The Fighting Illini had never beaten a higher-ranked opponent on the road in school history. The result eclipsed a 1989 road victory over then-No. 3 Indiana.

The Fighting Illini achieved the feat without top scorer Ayo Dosunmu, who missed his third consecutive game due to a facial injury.

Andre Curbelo supplied 17 points and six rebounds for Illinois, and Kofi Cockburn contributed 12 points and seven rebounds.

The Wolverines were led by Eli Brooks, who had 11 points, and Austin Davis, who added nine. Their usual top three scorers, Isaiah Livers, Hunter Dickinson and Franz Wagner, combined for 15 points on 4-for-24 shooting from the field.

Illinois held Michigan to 32.1 percent shooting in the first half and grabbed a 33-22 halftime lead.

The Fighting Illini moved on top with an 11-2 run. Curbelo scored six points during that span and Adam Miller capped it with a 3-pointer, giving Illinois a 19-12 lead.

Michigan cut its deficit to 21-18 on a Davis basket, but Illinois finished the half with a 12-4 spurt. Frazier scored four of those points, including a last-minute basket after a Wolverines turnover.

A Mike Smith 3-pointer two minutes into the second half allowed Michigan to cut the Illini's lead to eight. The visitors doubled that advantage with an 8-0 spurt that included 3-pointers from Jacob Grandison and Miller.

Illinois continued to push the lead with Frazier taking charge. The Fighting Illini scored nine unanswered points midway through the half to make it 64-36. Frazier scored the last seven of those points. He made a layup, hit two free throws after Wagner was whistled for a flagrant foul, then tossed in a 3-pointer.

--Field Level Media

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