Illinois sinks Michigan in double overtime

illinois-sinks-michigan-in-double-overtime

Matthew Mayer scored seven of his 24 points during the second overtime as Illinois claimed a 91-87 victory over Michigan on Thursday night in Champaign, Ill.

The result clinched the Big Ten regular-season title for Purdue, which has a 13-5 league mark. Six Big Ten teams, including Michigan and Illinois, are now tied for second place with 11-8 records — and Michigan State is a half-step behind at 10-8.

Terrence Shannon Jr., pressed into point guard duties due to starter Jayden Epps’ concussion, produced 10 of his 22 points during the overtimes as Illinois (20-10, 11-8) rallied from a seven-point deficit late in the first OT.

Junior 7-footer Hunter Dickinson produced 31 points — two shy of his personal best — and a career-high 16 rebounds to pace Michigan (17-13, 11-8), which scored the final seven points of regulation to force extra time.

Kobe Bufkin notched 23 points for the Wolverines.

Freshman Ty Rodgers provided a career-high 14 points for Illinois and RJ Melendez added 12.

Though Michigan led for most of the first half, Illinois claimed a 33-31 halftime edge when Rodgers stuffed home Shannon’s missed layup in the waning seconds.

Hawkins wore out the same path to the basket for two dunks as part of a 9-0 run that gave Illinois a 50-41 lead with 13:25 left.

As Illinois’ Orange Krush student section celebrated by chanting “N-I-T” at the visitors, Michigan responded by putting the ball in Bufkin’s hands. He sank two free throws, then swished back-to-back 3-pointers to cap a 10-0 spree that gave the Wolverines a 57-56 edge with 7:46 left.

Mayer reclaimed the lead for Illinois by banking a runner over Dickinson’s fingertips and cashing all 3 free throws after a foul on the perimeter.

Illinois extended its lead to 70-63 on two Shannon free throws with 2:35 left, but Michigan rallied to tie on Jett Howard’s 3-pointer with 47 seconds to go. The Wolverines had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but Dickinson’s 5-foot flip in the lane was challenged by two Illini.

Dickinson scored six points to stake Michigan to an 81-74 lead in the first overtime, but Shannon drove for a three-point play, drove to set up a Rodgers layup and drove for a short leaner with 26 seconds left to make it 81-81.

Mayer canned a 3-pointer on the first possession of the second overtime and Michigan never caught up, though Dickinson missed a free throw that would have forged an 88-88 tie with 40 seconds to go.

–Field Level Media

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