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BIG TEN



Published: Thu, February 24, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Michigan and Minnesota posted league victories.

ASSOCIATED PRESS

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Dee Brown scored 20 points, 18 on 3-pointers, to lead top-ranked and unbeaten Illinois to an 84-48 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday night that clinched a share of the Big Ten title for the Illini.

Brown was 6-of-8 from 3-point range, hitting five in the first half. The barrage included consecutive baskets that started a 16-6 run that gave Illinois a 28-13 lead with 9:37 left in the first half. A 4:46 drought later in the half sealed Northwestern's (13-13, 5-8) fate and the Illini led 45-22 at halftime.

Illinois (28-0, 14-0) clinched at least a share of the Big Ten title for the second consecutive season.

They can win the championship outright with a victory in either of their last two games -- Purdue and Ohio State -- or a loss by second-place Michigan State.

Michigan 63, Penn St. 48

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan's Dion Harris tied a career-high with 24 points and the Wolverines snapped a 10-game losing streak.

Ronald Coleman added 16 points for the Wolverines (13-15, 4-10 Big Ten).

It was the Wolverines' eighth consecutive win over the Nittany Lions (7-19, 1-12), who now have lost eight in a row and 13 of their last 14 games.

Danny Morrissey had a team-high 14 points and Geary Claxton had 12 for Penn State, which was never closer than nine points in the second half.

Minnesota 65, Iowa 57

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jeff Hagen scored 14 points and grabbed 17 rebounds, and Aaron Robinson keyed a second-half comeback that carried Minnesota over Iowa.

Vincent Grier scored 17 points and Robinson added 14, all in the second half, to lead the Gophers (18-9, 8-6) closer to their first NCAA Tournament berth in coach Dan Monson's six years.

Adam Haluska led Iowa (16-10, 4-9) with 19 points, and Jeff Horner added 11 for the Hawkeyes, who have lost five of six since leading scorer Pierre Pierce was kicked off the team because of ongoing legal problems.




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