Local News

East Lansing, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Tracy Abrams tallied 12 points and five 
steals  as Illinois  went into Breslin Center and shocked 18th-ranked Michigan 
State, 53-46, in Saturday's Big Ten clash. 

Rayvonte  Rice and  Malcolm  Hill  scored 10  points  apiece,  with Rice  also 
finishing  with  five steals as  Illinois (17-12, 6-10  Big Ten) won its third 
straight tilt. 

"I'm  really proud  of our guys," said Illinois head coach John Groce. "That's 
the  fourth game in  a row that we've held an opponent under 50 points. That's 
hard to do in this league with the great coaches and great teams." 

The  loss spoiled  Gary  Harris' 19-point  effort and  the  return of  forward 
Branden  Dawson, who  missed the  last nine  games with  a broken  right hand. 
Dawson came off the bench and scored six points with six rebounds. 

"This  team  has been through a  lot, but I  didn't see this coming," said MSU 
head  coach Tom Izzo. "I'm disappointed in our effort, not disappointed in our 
performance as far as our skills go." 

Michigan  State (22-7, 11-5) has now lost consecutive games for the first time 
this season. 

The  visiting Illini  landed the first blow,  jumping out to a 19-7 lead after 
Rice's steal and jam sparked a 9-0 run. 

Illinois went scoreless for more than five minutes later in the half, allowing 
the  Spartans to  claw their way back. Denzel Valentine and Harris hit triples 
to  key an 11-2 surge, which Abrams finally ended with his 3-ball at 3:44. MSU 
scored  the final  six points of the  half to tie it at 28-apiece heading into 
the locker rooms. 

A  3-pointer by  Rice 4:34  into the  second half  capped a  12-4 run  for the 
Illini.  Harris' trey  near the midpoint cut  the score to 42-39, but Hill's 3 
kept the Spartans at arm's length. 

Jon  Ekey's straightaway  3 made it 50-43  with 3:43 to play, and the Spartans 
mustered  just  a Harris triple down  the stretch, missing two field goals and 
three free throws in the last minute and a half. 

                                   Game Notes 

Illinois scored 25 points off of 16 MSU turnovers ... Michigan State outscored 
the Illini 24-20  in the  paint  ... Illinois  will  look to  win its  fourth 
straight when it hosts Big Ten-leading Michigan on Tuesday. 

 
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