Michigan holds off Illinois to tie program's best start
Written by Matt Pargoff   


Despite carrying a dismal record this season, Illinois has come close a number of times against quality opponents. Michigan got a small taste of the challenge the Fighting Illini pose on Thursday evening, holding on for a 79-69 road victory.

The Wolverines never trailed in the game, but struggled to build much breathing room as Illinois lingered within no worse than a 12-point striking distance. Michigan though was able to hold off any runs or momentum swings, tying the best start in program history with 16 straight wins.

Seven Wolverines reached double figures, with John Teske registering a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Zavier Simpson led the way offensively with 16 points and eight assists, while Ignas Brazdeikis scored 15 points, Charles Matthews 14 and Jordan Poole 10.

Isaiah Livers took the court for the first time in 2019, having missed the last two games with back spasms, playing 22 minutes and scoring nine points.

Still perfect on the season, the Wolverines will have a chance to set the record for the best start in program history on Sunday, when they play host to Northwestern at 7:30 p.m. eastern on Big Ten Network.

The Wildcats gave U-M its toughest challenge of the season so far, coming back from 15 points down in early December. The Wolverines held Northwestern without a point though for the final two minutes of play, holding on for a 62-60 victory.

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