The No. 13 Michigan State Spartans rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to defeat the Illinois Fighting Illini, 80-75, on Thursday night at Breslin Center in East Lansing, Mich.
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Down 37-27 at the break, the Spartans began the second half on a 14-0 run, thanks in part to four turnovers in four minutes from the Illini. Keith Appling scored five points during the run, including converting on a three-point play to cut the deficit to one. By the time the Illini finally made their first field goal of the half, more than six minutes had elapsed.
Illinois started the game strong, jumping out to an 8-0 lead, and would take a double-digit lead on D.J. Richardson's three-pointer at the 8:01 mark in the first half. After Michigan State rallied to cut the Illini lead to three, Illinois reeled off seven straight points, five of which were scored by Myke Henry, to close out the half.
Appling finished with 24 points to lead Michigan State, while Tracy Abrams scored 16 points for Illinois in the loss.