The defense wasn’t there today as the Illinois Fighting Illini defeated the Michigan Wolverines 93-85 in Ann Arbor. Devante Jones had a big day going for 25 points, but it ultimately wasn’t enough. Kofi Cockburn led the Illini with 27 points and Alfonso Plummer wasn’t far behind as he had 26 points.
The first half was a big one for Alfonso Plummer. The Illini guard dropped 23 points in the first 20 minutes and and knocked down five triples. Illinois as a whole shot the lights out, shooting 49% from the field and 57% from three. Despite the scoring success, Michigan was able to keep things relatively close. Illinois was able to stretch the lead into double digits a couple times, leading by as many 11, but the Wolverines got things down to single digits before halftime. Caleb Houstan led Michigan with 11 first-half points, and the Illini led 46-38 at the break.
Illinois kept up the hot shooting in the second and led by double digits for much of the half. Illinois led by as many as 15 points, but Michigan ended up making a comeback. A three by Houstan with 2:30 in the game brought the deficit down to two, but Illinois made the winning plays down the stretch. Michigan’s defense didn’t have it in this one, and the Illini seemingly couldn’t miss. Michigan’s offense put up enough points, but the defense just wasn’t there to secure the win.
Michigan is now 15-12 and 9-8 in conference play, and stays firmly on the bubble. There’s a big one up next as Michigan State comes to town on Tuesday night.