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Terrence Shannon Jr. scores 31 points, No. 14 Illinois buries Michigan 97-68

Illinois's Terrence Shannon Jr. (0) shoots over Michigan's Jaelin Llewellyn during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, in Champaign, Ill. Illinois won 97-68.

CHAMPAIGN — Terrence Shannon Jr. shot 11 of 15 from the field for 31 points to lead No. 14 Illinois past Michigan 97-68 on Tuesday night.

Coleman Hawkins had 17 points and five assists for the Illini (18-6, 9-4 Big Ten), Marcus Domask had 13 points and Quincy Guerrier had 10 points and seven rebounds in a game where most of Illinois’ starters were on the bench for the final 9:29.

Illinois coach Brad Underwood was happy to see his team’s defensive intensity return after the Illini lost Saturday to Michigan State. The Spartans scored on nine of 10 possessions late in the game.

“We spent the last two days reconnecting on defense,” Underwood said. “We’re back to being mean and nasty.”
Hawkins said the Illini used a familiar formula to beat the Wolverines.

“Coach always writes ‘defend, rebound, run’ on the board,” he said. “That’s what we did.”

Terrance Williams III had 17 points, while Tarris Reed Jr. and Olivier Nkamhoua had 13 points each for Michigan (8-17, 3-11), which has lost 12 of 14 and is in last place in the Big Ten.

The Wolverines have lost lost eight straight games to the Illini.

Shannon has scored 20 or more points in 10 games this season despite missing six games with a suspension, and he’s scored in double figures for 28 consecutive games dating to Jan. 31, 2023.

Illinois led Michigan 47-29 at halftime led by Shannon with 19 points. He made four straight 3-pointers in the final 3:56 as Illinois went on a 16-2 run to end the half.

Michigan coach Juwan Howard recruited Shannon when he entered the transfer portal after spending three seasons at Texas Tech, but Shannon decided to go to Illinois after committing to the Wolverines. This is his second season with the Illini.

“I’m proud of Terrence,” Howard said. “He’s played very well since he came here. You’re welcome.”

The victory over Michigan kept Illinois all alone in second place in the Big Ten, two games behind No. 2 Purdue (11-2). Each team has seven conference games remaining.

Michigan was without leading scorer and top assist man Dug McDaniel. The 5-foot-11 sophomore guard isn’t traveling to road games because of an academic suspension that began with the Wolverines’ Jan. 11 game at Maryland.

McDaniel has missed five road games and Michigan has lost them all. His academic progress will be evaluated prior to spring break to determine if his suspension will be lifted.

BIG PICTURE

Michigan: The Wolverines have gotten off to terrible starts in their last two games. They fell behind Nebraska by 20 points at halftime of their 79-59 loss Saturday. They stayed within striking distance of Illinois for most of the first half, but headed to the locker room at halftime down by 18.

Illinois: After back-to-back games in which they failed to protect late leads, the Illini were too far in front of Michigan down the stretch to worry about that happening again.

BACK ON THE BENCH

This was Howard’s 15th game since returning to the bench after undergoing a heart procedure Sept. 15 and spending 15 days in the hospital. Doctors resected an aortic aneurysm and repaired an aortic value in a scheduled operation.

“You have a lot of time to think when you’re recovering in the hospital from open heart surgery,” Howard said. “You appreciate life. This season has been tough. But I’m blessed to be a college basketball coach, and at my alma mater.”

UP NEXT

Michigan: At home Saturday night against Michigan State.
Illinois: At Maryland on Saturday.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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