Michigan keeps seniors from the history books

By Lucas Deal

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Up until Tuesday, Michigan senior Daniel Horton had never beaten Illinois.

Sure he’d had his chances, but every game, just when it looked as if he would finally get over the hump, Illinois would respond.

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Last year it was Dee Brown’s steals. In January it was James Augustine’s dominance and Warren Carter’s free throws. But finally, on Tuesday night, it wasn’t anything.

Horton poured in a career-high 39 points on 13-of-20 shooting and got the win he was looking for as Michigan (18-7, 8-6 in the Big Ten) held off the Illini 72-64 at Crisler Arena.

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    After the game Illinois head coach Bruce Weber said Horton and his Wolverine teammates just wanted the win more than Illinois did.

    “He just got one of those grooves going,” Weber said. “When he missed a shot, you were surprised.”

    The loss drops Illinois (22-5, 8-5) a game behind Iowa in the Big Ten race with only three to play. It also keeps Brown and Augustine tied with Nick Smith for first place on Illinois’ all-time wins list with 110.

    “We were in a position to win,” Weber said, “we just didn’t do what we needed to.”


    Despite the loss, Augustine had his second solid game in a row for the Illini, tying a career-high with 23 points and adding 14 of Illinois’ 27 rebounds.

    Augustine had his way in the post against Michigan forward Graham Brown, and the Wolverines appeared to have no answer for his athleticism.

    Weber was happy with Augie’s effort, but wished some of his other bigs could have been able to do the things he did.

    “They beat us bad on the boards,” he said. “We didn’t do the things that got us here – rebounding and defense.”


    After a strong performance against Indiana on Sunday, Illinois’ Orange Krush cheering section made their yearly Big Ten road trip to Ann Arbor on Tuesday, buying a substantial number of seats in the Crisler Arena upper deck.

    The Krush surrounded the main concourse during the National Anthem, ripping off their fake “Maize Rage” t-shirts to reveal their true allegiance to the orange and blue.

    In addition to the Krush, a large number of other Illini fans also made the trip, successfully making Illinois’ “I-L-L I-N-I” chant one of the loudest cheers early in the game.


    Illinois might have entered Tuesday night’s game as the number one three-point shooting defense in the Big Ten, but you never would have known by the way they played last night.

    Michigan torched the Illini from the outside in both halves, finishing 9-of-20 in the game, including four straight bombs early in the second half to turn a 40-33 deficit into a 45-43 lead.