Michigan State uses late push to upend No. 10 Illinois

League: NCAA Basketball

Posted on: 10 Feb, 2024 at 09:46 PM

Credit: Nick King/Lansing State Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

A.J. Hoggard scored 23 points and Malik Hall added 22, including a pair of crucial 3-point plays down the stretch Saturday, as host Michigan State erased a late eight-point deficit to stop No. 10 Illinois 88-80 at East Lansing, Mich.

The Spartans (15-9, 7-6 Big Ten) trailed 72-64 after the Fighting Illini's Marcus Domask drilled a 3-pointer with 7:39 remaining in the game. Beginning with two Tyson Walker free throws with 6:32 left, Michigan State went on a 24-8 scoring run to end the game.

Hall gave Michigan State the lead for good at 77-76 on a 3-point play with 2:14 left. That started an 8-0 run that saw the Spartans convert consecutive turnovers into a layup by Walker and two free throws by Hoggard. Illinois missed 11 of its last 12 shots from the field.

Hoggard went 12 of 13 at the foul line, while Walker added 19 points. Jaden Akins contributed 10 points as Michigan State sank 52.7 percent of its field goals and made more foul shots (25) than the Illini attempted (20).

Terrence Shannon Jr. scored a game-high 28 points for Illinois (17-6, 8-4) but made only 7 of 19 attempts from the field and 2 of 9 from 3-point range. Coleman Hawkins added 14 points and seven assists for the Illini, while Domask finished with 12 points.

The teams attacked each other in a free-flowing, high-scoring first half. Illinois averaged over 1.3 points per possession, canning a half-dozen 3-pointers, and Michigan State did it one better by scoring just over 1.4 points per possession.

The Spartans led 15-11 less than five minutes into the game on Jaxon Kohler's putback, but the Illini responded with a 14-3 run for a 25-18 advantage after Hawkins drained a 3-pointer midway through the half. Illinois stretched the lead to eight on two occasions.

Michigan State controlled the final 5 1/2 minutes of the half, ripping off 10 straight points to regain the lead and then taking a 44-41 edge to the break with the help of Akins' 3-pointer. Each team committed only four turnovers in the half.

--Field Level Media