ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) -- Daniel Horton was determined to help
Michigan beat Illinois.
Horton scored 25 of his career-high 39 points in the second
half, rallying Michigan to a 72-64 victory over No. 8 Illinois on
"I just wanted to do what it took to win," said Horton, who
shot 13-for-20 from the field -- including 5-for-7 on 3-pointers.
"I gotta give my teammates all the credit. I shot well but I never
really felt in a groove because there weren't any tough shots. I
was open most of the time."
Horton was instrumental in jump-starting the Wolverines'
struggling offense early in the second half. After trailing 34-30
at the break, Michigan hit five straight 3-pointers -- including
three by Horton -- to take the lead.
"He was phenomenal," Michigan forward Graham Brown said.
"Without him, we wouldn't have been anywhere near them. Tonight,
he had it right from the start.
The Illini twice tied the score, the last at 57-all with 5:46
remaining. The Wolverines maintained control and built a 64-60 lead
with 64 seconds left.
James Augustine pulled Illinois within 66-64 on two free throws
with 45.7 seconds to play. However, Horton sealed the win by
hitting six free throws in the final 43 seconds.
"(Horton's) courage, his will and the way he put us on his back
offensively was a brilliant, brilliant game for us," said Michigan
coach Tommy Amaker who got his first win against Illinois after
losing the first 12 matchups against the Illini -- including his
time at Seton Hall.
Courtney Sims added 11 points for the Wolverines (18-7, 8-6 Big
Ten), the only team to top 70 points against Illinois this season.
Last month, Michigan lost 79-74 against the Fighting Illini at
The Wolverines snapped an 11-game losing streak against
Illinois, dating back to January 2000, and beat a ranked opponent
for the third time in less than a month. Michigan defeated then-No.
11 Michigan State and then-No. 23 Wisconsin in late January.
Augustine scored 23 points and Dee Brown added 20 for the Illini
(22-5, 8-5) who had a two-game winning streak snapped. Three of
Illinois' five losses have come on the road.
"The start of the second half is the key to the game,"
Illinois coach Bruce Weber said. "We let them get three or four
wide-open 3-pointers. We don't hustle back. We don't switch and no
one tells anybody. When that happens, you give a team a chance to
run. We could never recover."
Weber said he was especially disappointed in Illinois' defense
"He just got in one of those grooves and just got going,"
Weber said. "It seemed like everything he was throwing up there
was going in. When he missed, you were surprised."
Michigan played without starters Lester Abram (sprained ankle)
and Chris Hunter (knee injury). Reserve Amadou Ba sat out against
Illinois and will sit out half of the Feb. 25 game at Ohio State
for being involved in an altercation with a fan before last
weekend's game at Michigan State.
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