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Michigan escapes with 64-63 win over Illinois

Jordan Morgan's layup with 3.9 seconds left helped eighth-ranked Michigan escape with a 64-63 win over Illinois in quarterfinal action of the Big Ten Tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
March 14, 2014 at 2:11 PM   |   Comments

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Jordan Morgan's last-minute layup helped No. 8 Michigan run off with a 64-63 win over Illinois in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.

Nik Stauskas had 19 points and Glenn Robinson III added 15 with seven rebounds for top-seeded Michigan (24-7), which has won six in a row. The team now awaits the winner of the Ohio State/Nebraska matchup for Saturday's semifinals.

Tracy Abrams and Rayvonte Rice each had 11 points for ninth-seeded Illinois (19-14), which advanced to this game with a win over the No. 8 seed Indiana on Thursday. The Illini, who were vying for their first Big Ten title since 2005 and 13th semifinal appearance, fell for the just second time in their last seven games.

Both losses came against Michigan. The Wolverines cruised to an 84-53 win in Champaign on March 4, but this one wasn't quite as easy.

After trailing by as many as 13, Illinois grabbed its first lead since the early stages when Rice's jumper made it 59-58 with 4:36 to play. Kendrick Nunn's reverse layup put the Illini up three, but Derrick Walton Jr tied it at 61-61 with a 3-pointer.

After Rice gave the Illini a two-point lead, Stauskas made 1-of-2 free throw attempts to trim the deficit to one with 55 seconds to play. Abrams missed a three at the other end, though, to give the ball back to Michigan with 19.1 ticks left.

Morgan made the most of the opportunity as he and Stauskas worked a perfect pick and roll to put the Wolverines ahead. Abrams had a shot at the other end, but his runner in the lane was off the mark.

Michigan won the very first Big Ten Tournament title back in 1998, but later had it taken away due to NCAA sanctions. The Wolverines are just 10-14 all- time in the event, and that '98 appearance was the only time they reached the championship game.

[SportsNetwork.com]

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