(12) Michigan Rolls Illinois to Capture Big Ten Title

National Sports

0  Updated at 11:53 pm, March 4th, 2014 By: ABC Digital
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Joe Robbins/Getty Images(CHAMPAIGN, Ill.) — For the first time since 1986, Michigan (22-7, 14-3) can claim the Big Ten title as theirs and only theirs. The twelfth-ranked Wolverines rolled to an 84-53 win over Illinois (17-13, 6-11) on Tuesday night, capturing the conference championship outright.

Nik Stauskas hit a career-best seven 3-pointers in the victory, leading the way with 24 points. As a team, Michigan was 70 percent from beyond the arc and hit 56.9% of their total shots.

“We came with that mindset, this was our championship and we wanted to win it,” said Stauskas.

A dominating first half saw the Wolverines go into the locker room with a 52-30 advantage and they never looked back. Leading by only three, Michigan rattled off five consecutive treys to extend their lead to 35-17 by the eight minute mark. Illinois, who had won three straight, tried to fight back in the second half, but a strong defensive effort by the Wolverines quelled any threat of an upset.

Michigan won a share of the conference title in 2012, splitting the championship with Michigan State and Ohio State.

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