EAST LANSING, Mich. — A.J. Hoggard had 23 points and zero turnovers to lead Michigan State over No. 10 Illinois 88-80 on Saturday.
The Spartans (15-9, 7-6 Big Ten) rallied from an eight-point deficit over the last six-plus minutes to earn the win and bounce back from a 59-56 loss to Minnesota earlier this week. Malik Hall had 22 points and Tyson Walker scored 19.
Hoggard’s three-point play with 4:10 remaining made it 72-all, the 13th tie of the game. Shortly thereafter, Michigan State scored eight straight points to take control.
After missing free throws late in the loss at Minnesota on Tuesday, the Spartans took advantage at the line with Hoggard making 12 of 13 and Hall connecting on 7 of 9 free throws.
The Fighting Illini (17-6, 8-4) failed to keep a late lead for the second straight game. They led Nebraska by 10 with 3:29 remaining on Sunday before needing to go to overtime to secure a win.
Terrance Shannon Jr. had 28 points for Illinois and Coleman Hawkins scored 14. Marcus Domask was held to 12 points — eight below what he was averaging in conference games.
Michigan State led 44-41 after a closely contested first half with six lead changes — both teams were ahead for nine-plus minutes — and six ties.
Hall had 11 points and Hoggard scored 10 in the first half while Shannon carried the Illini with 16 points, outscoring each of his teammates by at least double digits.
Illinois: Losing leads late in games has become a problem for coach Brad Underwood.
Michigan State: Tom Izzo’s team may never get back to its preseason ranking of No. 4, but it is starting to play closer to its potential at the right time.
Hawkins was called for a technical for saying something to the crowd following a 3-pointer early in the first half. Michigan State’s Jaden Akins drew a technical for taunting the Illini bench after making a 3-pointer with 49 seconds before halftime.
Illinois earned a top-10 ranking in the first poll of February for the first time since 2006 and after its only game of the week, the team will likely fall in the AP Top 25.
Illinois: Hosts Michigan on Tuesday night.
Michigan State: Visits Penn State on Wednesday.