Second Half Surge Pushes Michigan Past Illinois in B1G Opener
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Mark Donnal had 26 points, nine rebounds and three blocks -- all career highs -- and Caris LeVert scored 22 with a career-best tying 10 assists to help Michigan beat Illinois 78-68 Wednesday in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
LeVert scored the first nine points for the Wolverines (11-3), who have won five in a row.
Kendrick Nunn scored 23 points to lead the Illini (8-6). Jalen Coleman-Lands added 13.
Coleman-Lands hit a 3 to close the first half and give Illinois a 37-34 lead at the break.
Donnal scored seven during a 9-2 run to open the second half that put the Wolverines in front for good.
Nunn made a layup to pull Illinois within two with 13:48 left, but Michigan's Zak Irvin answered with a 3-pointer that sparked a 13-2 spurt and made it 61-48 about four minutes later and held off the Illini thereon.