Illinois-Michigan: Illini Exact Revenge for Earlier Loss to Wolverines

Oliver VanDervoortCorrespondent IJanuary 15, 2009

Illinois' dream season just keeps on rolling.  One season after posting just 14 wins, the Fighting Illini improved to 15-2 thanks to a second half rally that took them past the 25th-ranked Michigan Wolverines in what was already the second matchup between the teams.

One factor that has made the Illini so dangerous this season has been the fact that different players have stood up and put their team on their backs in different games.  Against the Wolverines, center Mike Tisdale scored 24 points and blocked three shots, while guard Demetri McCamey went for 17 points and five assists. 

In their last game, a win over the Indiana Hoosiers, Tisdale managed just two points.  The center's turnaround was especially notable considering that in the Illini's first go-round with Michigan, Bruce Weber pulled Tisdale early in the game, citing the fact that he was too rattled going up against Michigan's big man.

The Wolverines led most of the first half and held a slim one-point lead at the break, but Illinois came out fired up and Michigan came out cold.  After a Tisdale jumper made the score 39-34 in favor of the home team, Michigan never led again.

McCamey was dominant in the second half, scoring 15 of his 17 points after halftime.

The win helps Illinois keep pace with the top of the conference at 3-1, while Ohio State leads the pack with a 4-0 start.  While the Illini now boast three wins over Top 25 teams, a win in their next game would qualify as their signature victory, as they will take on seventh-ranked Michigan State this weekend.