Published: Wed, February 21, 2018
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Men's basketball crushes IL, wins Big Ten title on senior night

Men's basketball crushes IL, wins Big Ten title on senior night

The second-ranked Spartans now control their own destiny in the Big Ten regular-season race.

The Fighting Illini (13-16, 3-13) were coming off a win over Nebraska and looked like they were building momentum, competing well enough to trail the Spartans by just three points at halftime. The run ultimately did IL, as they never came within 11 points of the Spartans from that point on.

The game could also mark the Breslin finale for two other Michigan State players: Miles Bridges, who surprised people by staying this year, is expected to declare for the NBA Draft shortly after the season, and Jaren Jackson Jr. also is rated as a lottery pick in the 2018 NBA Draft if he decides to enter it. But the Buckeyes lost their last two games while the Boilermakers endured a three-game losing streak, including a stumble in East Lansing.

Bridges scored 19 points, leading No. 2 Michigan State to an 81-61 win over IL on Tuesday night to seal a share of the Big Ten championship. On Saturday, the Spartans trailed by 27 points in the first half and by 22 at halftime.

"I hope you enjoyed this team and I hope they brought a little bit of a bright light", Izzo said to fans during a postgame ceremony that included raising a Big Ten title banner. They haven't gone through that before. An ESPN report has also stirred Michigan State's basketball and football programs by questioning how Izzo and Mark Dantonio have dealt with allegations against their players. "He shows up when we need him". "We're still learning. We've got a couple guys still learning the system". In that game, Michigan State guard Cassius Winston put up 17 points. The last six victories besides the outing against the Gophers were decided by an average of 4.7 points.

Aforementioned, Michigan State has one game left on the regular season slate, before they head into Big Ten tournament play. Colley stuffed the stat sheet in her return, compiling 15 points, five assists and four rebounds in the loss to the Cornhuskers.

"They don't have any weaknesses", IL coach Brad Underwood said. He's averaging 15 points and five rebounds per game. "My teammates were finding me in all the right spots and I was able to knock down a lot of open shots".

IL (13-16, 3-13) was led by Leron Black's 20 points and Trent Frazier's 14 points on 4-of-13 shooting. Bridges poured in 31 points in an 87-74 Spartans victory on January 22. "I know it doesn't add up, but somehow it did for us".

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