A jumper by Anne Thorius with five seconds remaining boosted Michigan to a one-point lead and an eventual 81-79 conference home win over Illinois on Friday night.
With 1:37 left, Alicia Sheeler tied the score at 75 for Illinois with a layup, assisted by Melissa Parker. Sheeler led Illinois with 22 points on 10 of 11 shooting.
Stace Thomas answered with a layup at 1:21 for Michigan, assisted by Thorius. Thorius had 22 points for the Wolverines, and Thomas added 19.
Junior Tauja Catchings evened the score once again with a layup with 41 seconds left. Two game seconds later, however, Allison Curtin fouled Thorius, who split two free throws to put UM ahead by a point.
Sheeler dramatically put the Illini back in front with a layup with only 24 seconds to go. After a series of time outs and after 19 seconds drained off the clock, Thorius stuck the decisive jumper. Parker fouled Ann Lemire with two ticks left, who split two free throws for the final two point margin.
Catchings added 11 rebounds to her 16 point scoring total. She was one of four Illini in double figures, along with Sheeler's 22, Susan Blauser's 17, and Melissa Parker's 16 points. Parker was 4-6 from three- point range. Both teams shot near 50 percent, and every major statistical category was nearly even between the two teams.
Illinois plays its next game Sunday on the road against Indiana at 1 p.m. CT.