Local News

Champaign,  IL (SportsNetwork.com)  - Gary  Harris  scored 23  points to  lead 
fourth-ranked Michigan State to a 78-62 win over Illinois. 

Denzel Valentine contributed 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Keith Appling also 
scored 15, as the Spartans (17-1, 6-0 Big Ten) won their 10th straight contest 
since a Dec. 4 loss to North Carolina. 

Tracy  Abrams had 15  points to pace the Fighting Illini (13-6, 2-4), who have 
dropped  four in  a row.  Jon Ekey  and Rayvonte  Rice each  had 12  points in 
defeat. 

"I thought we made our fair share of mistakes on the defensive end," Illinois 
coach John Groce said. 

Rice's  jumper had the  hosts within 24-22 with 4:13 left in the opening half, 
but  the Spartans  ran off the next seven points, finished by Branden Dawson's 
tip-in.  Harris hit a  jumper in the final minute to widen the gap to 35-25 at 
the break. 

Ekey  drained  a 3-pointer  to start  the second half,  but the Spartans again 
gained control and moved ahead by a 43-30 margin on Alex Gauna's jumper. 

Adams  made  two free throws  for a 59-53 contest  with 6:09 left, but Appling 
responded  with  a 3-pointer with under  six minutes left. Illinois didn't get 
closer than nine the rest of the way. 

                                   Game Notes 

Illinois  fell  to 9-2  at home ...  Michigan State coach  Tom Izzo moved past 
Illinois  legend Lou Henson for sole possession of fourth place on the Big Ten 
career  victories list  with 215 wins ...  Michigan State has won eight of the 
last 11 meetings. 

 
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