Friday, March 02, 2012

Tim Hardaway Jr. Scores 25 to Lead Wolverines Over Illinois

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, March 1, 2012

When they needed his scoring the most, Tim Hardaway Jr. came through for Michigan in a big way.

Hardaway was a perfect 4-for-4 on three-pointers and finished with a game high 25 points, going 6-for-7 from the field and making 9 of 10 free throws as the Wolverines won at Illinois for the first time since 1995, topping the Fighting Illini by a 71-62 score.

#22 Michigan led the entire game, opening a 35-27 lead by half time and extending their edge through the second half on 47% shooting from the field while making 21 of 23 free throws.

Hardaway was also an effective rebounder, wiping the glass with 11 boards for his second double-double of the season.

The Wolverine win put them in a position to share the Big Ten title if they can win at Penn State this Sunday and Ohio State whips Michigan State in their season finale. The Spartans are 13-4, while the Buckeyes and Wolverines share second place with identical 12-5 conference records.

Illinois, losers of 10 of their last 12 - all within the Big Ten - probably have played their way out of an NCAA invitation and may be costing coach Bruce Weber his job.

Elsewhere around the Top 25, top-ranked Kentucky tore apart a hopelessly overmatched Georgia squad, 79-49, for their 21st straight victory, the longest winning streak in the nation.

#22 Florida State used a late 16-2 surge to overtake #24 Virginia, 63-60.

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