Aaron Henry had 20 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Michigan State ended No. 5 Illinois' seven-game winning streak with an 81-72 upset Tuesday night at East Lansing, Mich.
Senior Joshua Langford supplied 13 points and pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds for Michigan State (12-9, 6-9 Big Ten). Rocket Watts contributed 15 points and five assists while Joey Hauser scored 13 points for the Spartans.
Trent Frazier had 22 points to lead Illinois (16-6, 12-4), which trailed by double digits most of the second half. National Player of the Year candidate Ayo Dosunmu contributed 17 points, nine rebounds, five assists, two blocks and two steals but shot 6-for-18 from the field. Kofi Cockburn added 13 points and six rebounds, and Andre Curbelo had 12 points.
Michigan State shot 54.2 percent from the field while Illinois made 40 percent of its shots. The Fighting Illini only made 5 of 17 3-point attempts and 19 of 34 free-throw attempts. The Spartans, who have battled turnover issues throughout conference play, gave the ball away only eight times.
Cockburn made a layup early in the second half to cut the Spartans' lead to nine, 40-31. Michigan State then went on a 9-0 run to double its advantage.
Langford got it started with a put-back. Watts scored a fast-break layup, and Henry's basket in the lane finished it off with 14 minutes remaining.
Julius Marble II's basket with 11:15 remaining made it a 19-point spread at 56-37.
The Fighting Illini gradually chipped away and got it down to 64-54 on Jacob Grandison's put-back.
However, they failed to mount a serious comeback and couldn't get any closer than the final margin.
Illinois was held to 24.1 percent shooting in the first half and trailed 36-26 at the break.
Michigan State took a 28-18 lead with seven minutes left in the opening half when Watts scored in transition. Illinois got its deficit down to 32-26 when Frazier knocked down a 3-pointer. Hauser scored the last four points of the half to nudge the Spartans' lead to double digits once again by halftime.
--Field Level Media