#14 Illini Dominance Over Michigan Continues With 88-73 Win

By IlliniGuys Staff

January 18, 2024

(Cover photo courtesy Illinois Athletics)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - If this was Coleman Hawkins' last trip to Michigan, he made it a night to remember.

The veteran set season highs with 21 points and 10 rebounds and led a stingy Illini defense with a career-high six steals as Illinois pulled away from Michigan and post a 88-73 victory Thursday night.

The win sends Illinois (13-4, 4-2) to its seventh straight win over the Wolverines, a run that began when Juwan Howard replaced John Beilein as head coach.  The victory keeps them within one game of frontrunner Wisconsin in the Big Ten standings.

Illinois jumped out to an early 11-2 lead and never trailed the rest of the game, despite numerous comebacks by the Wolverines.  Michigan managed to tie the game at 38-38 on a Dug McDaniel layup at the 18:37 mark in the second half.  But the Wolverines managed just four field goals in the first 12 minutes after halftime, as the Illini outscored their hosts 28-13 to build their advantage to 65-49.

Hawkins was brilliant on both ends of the floor.  It was his eighth game scoring in double-figures, all in the last nine games.  During that stretch, the 6'10" senior is averaging 14.3 points per game while hitting 49 percent (17-of-35) from three-point range.  Hawkins was three of five from the arc on this night and grabbed 10 boards for his first double-double since December 2022.  He also had a blocked shot and is averaging more than a block per game during this stretch.

The Illini put five players in double figures on the night.  Quincy Guerrier scored 16 to go with 14 rebounds for his sixth double-double this season, Marcus Domask and Ty Rodgers each with 15, and Justin Harmon finished with 11.

Tarris Reed Jr. scored 20 points for Michigan (7-11, 2-5).

The Illini return to play on Sunday when they host Rutgers (12pm, BTN).

Stay with IlliniGuys.com for complete postgame coverage.

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