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Updated: Thursday, January 30, 2003 1:02 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(14) Illinois 67, Michigan 60
MICHIGAN WOLVERINES
Michigan Wolverines
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ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI
Illinois Fighting Illini
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CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (Ticker) -- Brian Cook did not want his team's chance at a Big Ten Conference title to end before February.

Cook scored 26 of his 30 points in the second half as No. 14 Illinois rallied from an 11-point deficit to end Michigan's 13-game winning streak with a 67-60 Big Ten Conference victory.

Illinois (15-3, 5-2 Big Ten) was in desperate need of a victory as it was in danger of falling three games behind front-running Michigan in the conference standings. Cook turned in a poor first half as the Fighting Illini had trouble scoring and trailed for the final 10 minutes of the period.

Cook was simply unstoppable inside against Michigan's youthful inside players, scoring 18 of Illinois' 22 points in one stretch in the second half. He almost single-handedly outscored the Wolverines by himself in the second half and fell just short, 27-26.

Michigan (13-7, 6-1) stifled Illinois through most of the game with a 2-3 zone and took its largest lead at 39-28 on freshman Graham Brown's basket with 17:18 remaining. Another hoop by Brown still had the Wolverines up, 47-39, with just over nine minutes to play.

Illinois freshman James Augustine scored inside, and Cook was fouled hard by Michigan's Bernard Robinson Jr., who compounded his mistake by getting whistled for a technical foul. Cook drained all four free throws and later nailed a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 51-50.

Cook scored on a power move with just under four minutes left that gave Illinois the lead for good at 57-56. The preseason Big Ten Player of the Year added back-to-back baskets for a 64-59 cushion with 55 seconds to go.

Illinois shot just 25 percent (8-of-32) in the first half. Overall, Cook's teammates made just 10-of-40 shots. But the senior forward made 9-of-13 shots and 9-of-12 at the line.

LaVell Blanchard scored 13 of his 18 points in the first half for Michigan and freshman Chris Hunter added 11 and 10 rebounds. But freshman point guard Daniel Horton missed all eight 3-pointers he hoisted and misfired on 14-of-17 shots for just seven points.

Horton committed seven of the team's 12 turnovers.

Michigan got a 3-pointer from freshman Lester Abram with 1:46 left to cut the deficit to 60-59. Cook scored easily 17 seconds later and, after a turnover by Michigan, beat a pair of Wolverines to his own missed shot and scored for the five-point lead with under a minute left.

Augustine collected 11 points and 10 rebounds and freshman Deron Williams finished with nine points and six assists.

Michigan was rolling early in the second half as Blanchard dunked off an alley-oop and Brown put home a follow shot for a 39-28 edge with 17:18 remaining. Abram came up with a steal that led to a layup by Horton for a 45-35 advantage with 12:44 left to play.

Horton's ineffectiveness at point guard came into play as the Wolverines managed just six baskets the rest of the way.

The Fighting Illini extended their home winning streak to 13 games and have won six straight from the Wolverines.


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