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Illinois rallies to end Michigan State’s seven-game win streak

Jan 13, 2023; Champaign, Illinois, USA;  Michigan State Spartans guard Tyson Walker (2) looks to pass as Illinois Fighting Illini guard Sencire Harris (1) defends during the first half at State Farm Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Dain Dainja had 20 points and seven rebounds as Illinois ended Michigan State’s seven-game winning streak with a 75-66 victory at Champaign, Ill., on Friday night.

Matthew Mayer contributed 19 points and six blocks for the Fighting Illini (12-5, 3-3 Big Ten), who have won three straight conference games.

Terrence Shannon Jr. tossed in 17 points and five rebounds for Illinois, who overcame a nine-point deficit in the last 14 minutes. Coleman Hawkins added nine points and eight rebounds.

A.J. Hoggard led the Spartans (12-5, 4-2) with 20 points. Tyson Walker supplied 14 points, and Joey Hauser added 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Michigan State failed to make a 3-pointer on seven attempts and were credited with just four assists on 28 made field goals.

The Spartans outrebounded Illinois 42-30, but the Fighting Illini shot 53.6 percent from the field in the second half while Michigan State made just 34.4 percent of its attempts from the floor after intermission.

The Fighting Illini held a 19-17 lead midway through the first half. Michigan State then had an 8-0 spurt, capped by a pair of Walker layups. Illinois scored the next seven points, including four from Dainja.

The Spartans came right back with a 10-2 run, started by a pair of Cooper layups, to gain a 35-28 advantage.

Michigan State held a 37-33 halftime lead, led by Hoggard’s 10 points. Shannon topped the Fighting Illini with 15 first-half points. The Spartans only took two 3-point shots in the opening 20 minutes, though they outscored Illinois 28-14 in the paint.

A putback dunk by Akins with 15 minutes left gave the Spartans a 48-41 lead.

Illinois coach Brad Underwood received a technical moments later and Hauser made both free throws.

With Michigan State leading 52-45, the Fighting Illini went on a 14-2 run. Mayer delivered 10 of those points, including two 3-pointers, and Dainja scored the rest.

Walker made a floater to tie it at 60-apiece with 5:47 left. Hawkins fired in a 3-pointer to put Illinois back on top a minute later.

Dainja upped the lead to five points with a putback with 3:55 to play.

Another putback by Hawkins with 1:28 remaining gave the Fighting Illini a 71-64 advantage. The Spartans never came closer than five points the rest of the way.

–Field Level Media