Illinois' defense spurs 79-74 win over No. 9 Michigan State

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Ayo Dosunmu scored 24 points, and Illinois used a swarming defense to upset No. 9 Michigan State 79-74 on Monday night.

Giorgi Bezhanishvili scored 16 for Illinois (8-15, 4-9 Big Ten), and Trent Frazier added 15 as the Illini handed the Spartans (18-5, 9-3) their third straight loss.

Cassius Winston led the Spartans with 21 points. Xavier Tillman added 16.

Illinois led for all but a three-minute stretch late in the game, pushing ahead by as many as 14 points before Michigan State rallied to take a 64-63 lead on Kenny Goins' 3-pointer with 6:21 remaining.

But Illinois, behind its defense, held on and took a 71-68 lead on Dosunmu's 3-pointer with 2:35 left. Dosunmu made another 3 with 1:57 remaining, and the Illini held on from there as the Spartans missed their last four field-goal attempts.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

The Spartans were fortunate to stay in the Top 10 after dropping two straight. With Monday's loss, they are likely to fall precipitously.

BIG PICTURE

Michigan State: The Spartans dropped a half-game behind Michigan and Purdue in the Big Ten. The conference schedule has exposed Michigan State's shortcomings without Joshua Langford, who is out for the season with a foot injury. The junior guard had been the main driver of the Spartans' offense.

Illinois: The Illini are on an upswing, having won three of four as their defense has frustrated opponents.

UP NEXT

Michigan State hosts Minnesota on Saturday.

Illinois hosts Rutgers on Saturday.

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2/5/2019 9:53:00 PM (GMT -5:00)