Sophomore guard Trey Burke (Columbus, Ohio/Northland HS) scored a game-high 19 points, while freshman guard Nik Stauskas (Mississauga, Ontario, Canada/St. Mark's School [Mass.]) added 14. Junior guard Tim Hardaway Jr. (Miami, Fla./Palmetto Senior) and freshman guard Glenn Robinson III (St. John, Ind./Lake Central) rounded out the double-digit scoring with 12 points apiece.
Trailing 7-4 a little more than three minutes into the game, Michigan went on an 11-0 run to take the lead for good. After a fastbreak layup by Hardaway capped the run, however, Illinois got back within two (19-17) with eight minutes to play in the half. Freshman forward Mitch McGary (Chesteron, Ind./Brewster Academy [N.H.]) put a stop to the Illini surge, throwing one down to extend the Wolverine advantage.
The next seven minutes saw back-and-forth play, until the Maize and Blue outscored the Illini 7-2 during the final 1:18 of the half. Burke scored on a fastbreak layup, followed by a triple by Hardaway, before nailing a step-back jumper at the top of the key with three seconds on the clock to send Michigan into the locker room with the 35-27 edge.
Hardaway picked up a steal on the first possession out of the break and finished with a fastbreak layup on the other end to give the Wolverines their first double-digit advantage. Illinois cut its deficit down to 41-37 three minutes later, but a pair from the free throw line by sophomore/freshman forward Max Bielfeldt (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame) started a 9-0 run for Michigan, during which it forced the Illini into four turnovers.
Illinois used a 9-3 run over the next six minutes to cut U-M's lead to seven, before a tip-in by McGary was followed by a steal and fastbreak slam by Burke with 8:20 on the game clock. Michigan then used another 9-0 run to take its largest lead of the game, 18 points, with five minutes remaining in the game and cruised down the stretch to the 14-point victory.
The Wolverines will return to Ann Arbor on Wednesday (Jan. 30) looking to sweep Northwestern inside Crisler Center. Tipoff is slated for 6:30 p.m., and the game will be televised on the Big Ten Network.