CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — For the second straight game, regulation was not enough time to decide a winner for Michigan basketball.
Down by seven with 2:06 to play, the Wolverines ripped off a 7-0 run and tied the game on a Jett Howard 3-pointer with 45.6 seconds in regulation. Hunter Dickinson tried a go-ahead hook shot in the final seconds, but it missed the mark.
In the extra period, Howard – in his first game back after missing the previous two contests with an ankle injury – hit a long ball from the exact same spot as the end of regulation on Michigan’s first possession. Michigan would get its lead out to seven with 1:49 remaining in the extra period, but like the Illini before them, wouldn’t hang on.
Illinois closed the extra period on a 7-0 run of its own, and a Terrence Shannon layup with 26.5 seconds to play tied it to force another extra period.
Matthew Mayer scored the first seven for Illinois while Dickinson countered with Michigan’s first six to get within one. Shannon missed a long ball with 15 seconds to play, but got the offensive rebound and made both free throws.
Michigan drew up its third end-of-game play, but Joey Baker air-balled an open look at a 3-pointer as Michigan fell 91-87.
Dickinson, who scored six straight for UM in the first extra period, led the way with 31 points and 15 rebounds. Kobe Bufkin, who had a personal 8-0 run when UM was down by nine midway through the second half, scored 23 while Howard, who fouled out late, added 15.
Mayer had a team-high 24 points and seven rebounds for Illinois, followed by Shannon with 22 points and seven rebounds, Ty Rodgers with 14 points and seven rebounds and RJ Melendez with 12 points.
Michigan (17-13, 11-8 Big Ten) falls to xth in the Big Ten with one game remaining, at Indiana, on Sunday at 4:30 pm (CBS).
The extra frames
Howard’s long ball put the Wolverines up three, before a Melendez layup got the game within one. Dickinson would score Michigan’s next six points on three straight buckets in the paint before two Howard free throws put UM up 81-74.
Shannon responded with an And-1 jumper, Rodgers hit a reverse layup and then Shannon hit another bucket to tie the game with less than 30 seconds to play.
Mayer hit a 3-pointer and a reverse layup to go up five early in the second overtime, before a pair of Dickinson free throws. After Mayer made another layup falling down, Dcikinson made a layup and an And-1 hook shot, but missed the game-tying free throw with 41 seconds to play.
Shannon made three of four free throws the rest of the way for Illinois, who has now beaten Michigan in six straight meetings.
Pivotal second half stretch
The game was tied at 41 before an Illinois 9-0 run made it a 50-41 game.
Juwan Howard wanted to call a timeout and glanced twice at the scoreboard as he debated with himself, but he knew he couldn’t − the Wolverines had already used three of them in the first half. The first when Jett Howard lost control of a ball and went diving for it to save a possession. Another when Howard chose to silence the Illini crowd after a thunderous Sincere Harris slam gave the Illini a two-point lead.
Then the third, seemingly without a good reason, with 11.1 seconds left in the opening period.
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Michigan and Howard couldn’t stop the clock, but Michigan’s surging sophomore Kobe Bufkin didn’t need them to. UM responded to Illinois’ blitz with a 10-0 push of its own, including eight straight from Bufkin to take a one-point lead, 57-56.
Illinois responded with a 12-4 run of its own and twice got the lead out to seven points, but could never distance itself from the Wolverines.
Fast start, sloppy finish in the opening half
Michigan had no problems getting into its offense in the early going. Hunter Dickinson and Dug McDaniel buried consecutive long balls on two of Michigan’s first three possessions before a McDaniel mid-range jumper made it 8-2 less than three minutes in.
Shortly after the first media timeout, a healthy Jett Howard made his first impression on the game. The freshman received a dribble handoff from McDaniel, turned the corner and threw down a high-flying slam dunk to put the Wolverines up 12-6 with 15:21 to go in the half as Michigan made 5 of its first 8 shots.
But the offense bogged down from there, largely due to turnovers. Michigan, which entered play No. 12 in the nation in turnovers committed (9.9 per game), committed eight in the first 20 minutes which was just enough to keep the Wolverines out of a rhythm and go 6-for-22 from the floor over the final 15:20.
The Illini shot just 12-for-33 (36.4%) in the first half, but only gave the ball away three times and had timely runs.
Down by four, Luke Goode, Dain Dainja and Matthew Mayer made three buckets in four possessions, the last of which a Mayer 3-pointer which temporarily gave Illinois its first lead, 21-20, before Mayer was assessed a technical foul and the game quickly tied at 21.
Both teams went cold from there. Williams had a putback for Michigan before a Dickinson turnaround put UM up 25-21. But the Wolverines would go the next 4:48 without a field goal, Illinois went on a 6-0 run to take a lead and then didn’t trail the rest of the half.
Tied at 31 with 15 seconds to play, Saginaw native Ty Rodgers threw down a putback slam dunk to give Illinois a 33-31 lead at the half.
Contact Tony Garcia at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @realtonygarcia.
This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan basketball suffers a crushing 2OT loss, 91-87, at Illinois