Tue, 24 May 2022

No. 24 Illinois fights off No. 10 Michigan State in Big Ten battle

Field Level Media
26 Jan 2022, 12:40 GMT+10

Trent Frazier had 16 points and five assists and No. 24 Illinois barely held off a Michigan State rally and defeated the No. 10 Spartans 56-55 on Tuesday at Champaign, Ill.

Alfonso Plummer contributed 11 points and four assists as the Fighting Illini (14-5, 7-2 Big Ten) took first place from Michigan State in the conference.

Marcus Bingham Jr. had 13 points and six rebounds for the Spartans (15-4, 6-2) and Gabe Brown added 10 points.

Illinois' top scorer and rebounder, Kofi Cockburn, missed his second consecutive game due to a concussion.

A pair of Malik Hall free throws with 1:51 remaining whittled the Spartans' deficit to 56-52. Hall scored in the lane with a minute left to make it a two-point game.

After Plummer had a shot blocked by Max Christie, Tyson Walker had a chance to tie it but missed a mid-range shot. Luke Goode grabbed the rebound for the Fighting Illini.

Frazier missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and Hall was fouled on a shot try at the opposite end with 0.2 seconds left. But Hall missed the first throw before making the second, allowing the Illini to escape.

Illinois scored 15 points off nine Michigan State turnovers by halftime and raced to a 34-20 halftime lead. Frazier led the way with 10 points.

The Fighting Illini had an early 13-2 run to take a 17-9 lead. Frazier did all of his first-half scoring during that span with two layups and a pair of 3-pointers.

A 7-0 Illinois spurt established its first double-digit lead at 24-14.

The Spartans pulled within six with four minutes left in the half but Illinois finished with a 10-2 run.

Goode's 3-pointer with 15:25 remaining extended Illinois' lead to 15 at 42-27. The Spartans gradually chipped away at the deficit and cut it to eight, 52-44, on a Joey Hauser 3-pointer with 8:11 left. Then Walker's jumper with 6:36 remaining cut Illinois' advantage to six.

--Field Level Media

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