ANN ARBOR, Michigan (Ticker) -- No. 16 Illinois aims for a seventh straight victory over Michigan when they meet at Crisler Arena on Saturday in an important Big Ten Conference matchup.
Illinois (19-5, 9-4 Big Ten) and Michigan (16-10, 9-4) are tied for second place in the conference standings, one-half game behind Wisconsin.
The Fighting Illini finish conference play at Wisconsin next Wednesday and vs. Minnesota next weekend. The Wolverines wrap up at Penn State on Wednesday and vs. Purdue next weekend. Wisconsin only has two games remaining, at Minnesota on Sunday and vs. Illinois on Wednesday.
Illinois has won nine of its last 10 games against Michigan, including a 67-60 triumph at home on January 29. Brian Cook scored 26 of his 30 points in the second half for the Illini, who trailed by eight points with nine minutes left. LaVell Blanchard scored 18 points for Michigan but Daniel Horton had just two on 3-of-17 shooting.
The Illini have won their last three games overall and four of five. On Tuesday, they routed Indiana at home, 80-54.
Roger Powell scored a career-high 22 points, Cook 17 and Dee Brown 16 as the Illini won their 16th straight home game. Illinois shot 55 percent and dominated the glass, 41-24.
Michigan lost for the fourth time in seven games with a 73-42 blowout defeat at Wisconsin on Wednesday. It was the Wolverines' worst loss of the season.
Bernard Robinson Jr. and Lester Abram scored 14 points apiece but Blanchard had only five on 1-of-8 shooting and Horton two on 1-of-11 from the field.
The Wolverines shot just 31 percent and allowed the Badgers to connect on 53 percent.
Michigan, however, has won 12 straight home games, including its first six in Big Ten play. The Wolverines have not lost here since an 85-78 setback to Central Michigan on December 3, their fifth of a season-opening six consecutive defeats.