CHICAGO (AP) — Aubrey Dawkins scored 18 points and Michigan beat Illinois, 73-55, on Thursday in the second round of the Big Ten tournament.
Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman added 15 points and eight rebounds. Zak Irvin scored 14, and the ninth-seeded Wolverines (16-15) advanced in the tournament after dropping eight of 11 games. They will meet No. 6 Wisconsin, the top seed, in the quarterfinals on Friday.READ MORE: Illinois To Enter 'Bridge Phase' Of Reopening Plan On Friday, Full Reopening Possible By June 11
Illinois (19-13) simply came out flat on a day when it needed to impress the NCAA selection committee. Instead, the eighth-seeded Illini trailed by 17 at halftime and lost for the fifth time in seven games.
They watched as Michigan nailed 7 of 15 3-pointers, with Dawkins and Irvin hitting two apiece. Illinois shot just 1 of 13 from long range in a game where none of its starters played well.
Malcolm Hill had 13 points but shot just 3 of 12. Rayvonte Rice, who came in averaging 17 points, scored 10 and missed all four 3-pointers while going 4 of 13 from the field.
Reserve Leron Black (10 points, five rebounds) seemed to be the only one who came ready to play on a day when Illinois shot 37.3 percent.
The teams played two overtime games during the regular season, with the home team winning each time. But it was a different story on Thursday.
Michigan opened the game with a big run, withstood a charge by Illinois and finished the first half with another strong push to grab a 40-23 lead at the break.
Dawkins, who scored a career-high 31 in a win over Rutgers on Saturday, had 12 points and hit two 3-pointers. Spike Albrecht buried two and Michigan nailed 6 of 10 from long range in the first 20 minutes. Abdur-Rahkman was a force off the bench with nine points — seven to cap a game-opening 14-2 run.
The Illini put up three airballs while missing eight of their first nine shots before ripping off 13 straight points. Black scored six during the run, and Hill finished it with a 3 to give Illinois a 15-14 lead midway through the half. But it didn’t take long for Michigan to regain control.READ MORE: Museum Of Science And Industry Reimagines Aviation For Passengers In 'Take Flight'
Trailing 19-17, the Wolverines outscored Illinois 23-4 the rest of the half. Dawkins scored eight straight at one point, including a thunderous alley-oop dunk off a feed from a driving Irvin.
Michigan delivered another highlight reel play early in the second when a driving Albrecht threw an over-the-shoulder pass to Dawkins for a dunk.
Michigan: Michigan also beat Illinois in the second round last year.
Illinois: The Illini are 35-14 at the United Center.
Michigan: Plays top-seeded Wisconsin on Friday.
Illinois: Postseason to be determined.MORE NEWS: 'It’s Better Than All The Holidays Rolled Into One': Parents Excited About Their Kids Getting The COVID Shot
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.