Wednesday , Feb , 09 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Illinois lone undefeated team after win over Michigan

Ann Arbor, MI (Sports Network) – Dee Brown finished with 16 points, as top-
ranked Illinois remained undefeated with a 57-51 victory over the Michigan
Wolverines at Crisler Arena.

The Fighting Illini (24-0, 10-0 Big Ten) extended the best start in school
history and are now the only undefeated team remaining in Division I
basketball after Boston College lost at Notre Dame on Tuesday.

Luther Head added 14 points for the Illini, who have also won a school-record
20 straight Big Ten games dating back to last season. James Augustine had 10
points to round out Illinois’ double-figure scorers.

“We’ve won a couple this year ugly,” Brown said. “You just can’t beat everyone
by 20 or 15.”

Dion Harris posted 21 points and seven rebounds for the Wolverines (12-12,
3-7), who have dropped seven straight contests. Courtney Sims added 15 points
in the loss, while Chris Hunter chipped in with 10.

The Wolverines led 28-24 at the break and expanded that edge to 34-26 with a
6-2 run to begin the second half. However, back-to-back three-pointers by
Brown and Head would make it a two-point game with 12:17 remaining.

Michigan still held a 41-37 cushion after Sims hit a jumper with 8:53 left,
but that’s when Illinois made its move. The Illini used a 12-1 burst to take
control of the game. Brown started the big run with back-to-back layups. He
was fouled on the second basket and made the free throw to give the Illini a
42-41 lead with 7:54 left. Deron Williams’ dunk capped the spurt and gave
Illinois a 49-42 cushion with 3:56 remaining.

The Wolverines were able to get the lead down to 51-46 with 2:39 left, but
Head’s layup with 1:10 left and a dunk by Roger Powell Jr.’s with 30 ticks
remaining gave the Illini a 55-46 commanding cushion.

The Illini jumped out to an 11-3 lead early in the first half and would hold a
23-15 edge after Williams’ three-pointer with 8:47 remaining. However, that
would be the last field goal of the half for Illinois and the Wolverines would
take advantage of their opponent’s poor shooting.

Michigan closed the half with a 13-1 burst to grab a 28-24 lead at the break.
Harris hit a pair of three-pointers in the run for the Wolverines, while
Powell hit a free throw for Illinois.

Harris led Michigan with 12 points at halftime, while Head paced the Illini
with six.

The Illini’s 10-0 start in conference play is the best start for the school
since they went 12-0 during the 1942-43 campaign.