Illinois guard Tracy Abrams (13) shoots over Michigan guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (10) during the first half. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Number 7 Michigan Starts Slow, Tops Illinois 71-58
The Wolverines (23-4, 10-4 Big Ten) shook off a sluggish first half with a strong second half to win consecutive games for the first time in nearly a month. The Fighting Illini (20-9, 7-8) had won five straight, a streak that started Feb. 7 by beating top-ranked Indiana.
Michigan played for the first time in a week and looked rusty and sloppy early, turning the ball over the missing open shots. Illinois led by as much as eight points in the first half and didn't trail until Tim Hardaway Jr. had a three-point play with 3:30 to go. Brandon Paul scored all 10 of points in the first half to help the Illini lead 31-28 at halftime. Paul didn't attempt a shot in the second half.
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