No Kofi Cockburn? No Andre Curbelo? No problem for Illinois, which upset No. 10 Michigan State on Tuesday night, winning 56-55 in Champaign and moving back into first place in the Big Ten in the process.
Cockburn, Illinois' 7-foot All-American center, missed his second straight game with a concussion, and Curbelo, the team's standout guard, was out because of COVID protocols. But the Illini pulled out a win with others stepping up, stifling Michigan State to just 20 first-half points and then hanging on for dear life in the closing minutes.
Illinois got 16 points from point guard Trent Frazier, and freshman Luke Goode, the Fort Wayne, Ind., native, hit three three-pointers to help the Illini build a 15-point lead with 15 minutes to go.
Michigan State clawed its way back, though, and held Illinois scoreless for the final 5:33 of the game. Malik Hall made two free throws at 1:53 to make in 56-52 and then hit a jumper with 1:05 to go to pull the Spartans within two.
Hall was fouled on a drive with one second left, and had two free throws that would have tied the game, but he missed the first and Illinois held on.
Illinois (14-5, 7-2 in the Big Ten) moved a half-game ahead of Michigan State (15-4, 6-2 in the Big Ten) in the league race. Wisconsin and Ohio State also have just two losses, and Purdue is still lurking with three losses.
Michigan State shot only 34 percent from the field and was just 3-for-14 from threes. The dramatic comeback glossed over how poorly they played most of the night.
"They played with more energy than we did in the first half. We've been consistently inconsistent,'' Michigan State coach Tom Izzo said. "(Trent) Frazier is a hell of a player. He's a credit to the league to come back (for his fifth year). Illinois is a team that can light it up from everywhere."
Marcus Bingham Jr. led Michigan State with 13 points. Freshman Max Christie, who's won five Big Ten Freshman of the Week honors already this season, had his worst game of the season. He was just 1-for-8 shooting and scored only two points.
Maryland 68, Rutgers 60
Maryland guards Fatts Russell (23 points) and Eric Ayala (22) were on fire all night, and the suddenly surging Terrapins got a huge road win, taking down Rutgers 68-60 in Piscataway, N.J.
Maryland (11-9, 3-6 in the Big Ten) upset Illinois last weekend, and hosts Indiana on Saturday. Russell and Ayala each made five three-pointers, and the Terrapins made a season-high 12 threes.
Rutgers (11-8, 5-4 in Big Ten) shot only 34 percent from the field. Ron Harper Jr. had 16 points, but was 0-for-4 from three.
- Illinois 56, Michigan State 55
- Maryland 68, Rutgers 60
- Northwestern at Michigan, 6:30 p.m. ET (TV: Big Ten Network)
- Penn State at Indiana, 8:30 p.m. ET (TV: Big Ten Network)
- Wisconsin at Nebraska, 5 p.m. ET (TV: Big Ten Network)
- Ohio State at Minnesota, 8 p.m. ET (TV: ESPN)
- Purdue at Iowa, 9 p.m. ET (TV: FOX Sports 1)
- Michigan at Michigan State, 12:30 p.m. ET (TV: CBS)
- Indiana at Maryland, 2:30 p.m. ET (TV: FOX)
- Illinois at Northwestern, 4:30 p.m. ET (TV: Big Ten Network)
- Rutgers at Nebraska, 6:30 p.m. ET (TV: Big Ten Network)
- Ohio State at Purdue, Noon ET (TV: CBS)
- Minnesota at Wisconsin, 1 p.m. ET (TV: Big Ten Network)
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