Marcus Domask scored 15 points, including four free throws in the closing minutes that helped No. 10 Illinois hold off Michigan State 71-68 on Thursday night.
Coleman Hawkins and Ty Rodgers also scored 15 points apiece for the Illini (12-3, 3-1 Big Ten), who bounced back after a close loss at then-No. 1 Purdue last Friday.
Michigan State Spartans vs. Illinois Fighting Illini Highlights | CBB on FOX
Tyson Walker scored 17 points and A.J. Hoggard added 16 for the Spartans (9-7, 1-4), who fell into a last-place tie with Michigan in the conference standings.
Michigan State got within one point three times in the final two minutes, the last on Walker’s layup that cut Illinois’ advantage to 69-68 with 35 seconds left.
Marcus Domask drops a pass to Ty Rodgers for a strong two-handed slam to extend Illinois’ lead over Michigan State
Domask was fouled and sank both free throws. Walker and Hoggard each missed tying 3-pointers in the final 15 seconds.
Michigan State led 48-42 with 13:22 remaining, but Illinois responded with a 10-2 run. A layup by Walker tied the game at 52-all before Illinois went on a 7-0 burst, capped by a 3-pointer from Hawkins. The Illini led the rest of the game.
Illinois’ defense holds strong on back-to-back possessions in narrow 71-68 victory over Michigan State
Illinois led 37-34 at halftime. The Spartans missed nine of their first 10 shots and fell behind by 10 points, but rallied to climb within 35-34 on a 3-pointer by Walker.
Illinois improved to 3-1 without star Terrance Shannon Jr., who has been suspended by the university because he’s facing a rape charge in Lawrence, Kansas.
Shannon is seeking a temporary restraining order in U.S. District Court in Springfield that would force the university to reinstate him. His case was scheduled to be heard on Friday.
His arraignment on the rape charge is scheduled for Jan. 18. A trial isn’t expected to begin until June.
Michigan State: Coach Tom Izzo said he was embarrassed and that he was responsible for not getting his team ready after the Spartans’ 88-74 loss at Northwestern on Sunday. The Spartans responded with a more spirited and physical effort against the Illini.
Illinois: Domask, Hawkins, Quincy Guerrier and Luke Goode have picked up the slack since Shannon was suspended, and it was Rodgers’ turn Thursday. He scored 12 points in the first half.
Michigan State: Hosts Rutgers on Sunday.
Illinois: Hosts Maryland on Sunday.
Reporting by The Associated Press.
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