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COL BKB: Michigan 72, Illinois 61

March 1, 2012 at 9:55 PM

CHAMPAIGN, Ill., March 1 (UPI) -- Tim Hardaway Jr. led Michigan with an almost perfect shooting performance Thursday and the No. 16 Wolverines pulled away late for a 72-61 win over Illinois.

Michigan won on Illinois' home floor for the first time in 14 tries.

Hardaway made 6-of-7 from the field and 9-of-10 from the foul line while scoring 25 points -- 18 in the second half.

The Michigan lead was only two with 12:16 to play but the Wolverines then ran off nine points in a row to take command.

Trey Burke added 21 points for Michigan (22-8, 12-5 Big Ten Conference). It was the fifth win in six games for the Wolverines, who can still earn a share of the league regular-season title.

For that to happen Michigan needs to win at Penn State Sunday and have Ohio State defeat Michigan State on the road. Such a scenario would create a three-way tie for first place among Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State.

Meyers Leonard led Illinois (17-13, 6-11) with 18 points and nine rebounds. The Fighting Illini have lost 10 of 12.

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