Michigan’s 71-58 victory breaks Illini winning streak
by herb gould email@example.com February 24, 2013 2:34PM
ANN ARBOR, Mich.—When Illniois went to No. 7 Michigan on Sunday, it was facing a fact of Big Ten life as well as the Wolverines: The good teams in the nation’s best league don’t lose at home.
Michigan kept the trend going. It halted the Illini’s five-game winning streak 71-58.
That victory leaves the Big Ten’s top five teams with a combined 31-4 home record in conference play, including the 7-0 mark of Michigan (23-4, 10-4).
While a victory would have been a major step forward for Illinois (20-9, 7-8), the Illini are free still free to move about the cabin in their journey to the NCAA tourney.
Illinois will take a break until Saturday, when it plays host to Nebraska (4:15 p.m., BTN). Most experts believe a win in that game will give the Illini a very good case for a favorable Selection on Sunday.
Considering that the Illini finish with a pair of tough road games at Iowa and Ohio State, their Senior Day will be especially significant.
Illinois came up with a strong first half against the Wolverines, who
are 31-1 at home the last two seasons.
Brandon Paul’s three-ball at the end of the half give the Illini a 31-28 lead at the break. But Michigan responded with a 15-3 run at the start of the second and opened a 43-34 lead.
The Illini, who also faded at the start of the second half after leading at Michigan State, are 17-3 when they are leading at halftime.
They also were unable to hold a halftime lead in their Big Ten opener at Purdue.