Illinois turns to defense to upset 9th-ranked Michigan State

Illinois head coach Brad Underwood had tears in his eyes after his Illini upset Tom Izzo’s ninth-ranked Michigan State Spartans 79-74 on Tuesday night.

“Michigan State is a great team, and Tom is a great coach,” Underwood said. “They’re everything I want to be.”

Ayo Dosunmu scored 24 points, and the host Illini used a swarming defense to shock the Spartans. Illinois forced 24 turnovers by Michigan State, including 17 in the first half.

Fans stormed the court after the Illini dribbled out the final nine seconds of the game.

“I mean, it’s just one of 20 (Big Ten games), I know,” Underwood said. “But, man, it’s also more than that, you know? It feels like one of those defining moments, I think, where we found out who we are.”

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

“I think that first half was as good a defensive effort as I have ever coached,” Underwood said. “It led to some really good offense for us.”

Izzo was steamed enough after the loss that he gave his team with four more turnovers than it actually committed.

“Illinois played hard. I’ll give them credit for half of the turnovers,” Izzo said. “But we had, what, 28 turnovers ? Something like that. I mean, that’s completely ridiculous and that’s all on us.”

St. John’s 70, #10 Marquette 69: Shamorie Ponds scored 28 points, including a go-ahead layup with 16 seconds left, to lift the visiting Red Storm (17-6, 5-5 Big East). The loss ended an eight-game winning streak for the Golden Eagles (19-4, 8-2).

Kansas State 74, #13 Kansas 67: Barry Brown scored 18 points, Xavier Sneed hit a crucial 3-pointer with a minute to go, and the host Wildcats (17-5, 7-2), roughed up the Jayhawks (17-6, 6-4).

#1 Tennessee 72, Missouri 60: Admiral Schofield and Grant Williams scored 13 points each as the host Volunteers (21-1, 9-0 SEC) extended their school-record winning streak to 17 games by beating the Tigers (11-10, 2-7). Tennessee has the longest active winning streak of any Division I team.

#2 Duke 80, Boston College 55: Freshman Cameron Reddish scored 24 points as the host Blue Devils (20-2, 8-1 ACC) beat the Eagles (11-10, 2-7), who faded down the stretch. Duke overcame some shaky early shooting by shooting 63 percent after halftime to claim its sixth straight win.

#5 Kentucky 76, South Carolina 48: PJ Washington scored 20 points as the Wildcats scored their ninth consecutive victory. Kentucky (19-3, 8-1 SEC) shot 41 percent but held the visiting Gamecocks (11-11, 6-3) to 36 percent.

#7 Michigan 77, Rutgers 65: Freshman Ignas Brazdeikis scored 23 points and the Wolverines (21-2, 10-2 Big Ten) hit nine of their first 11 shots in opening a big lead in topping the host Scarlet Knights (11-11, 4-8).

#8 North Carolina 113, North Carolina State 96: Luke Maye scored a season-high 31 points to go with 12 rebounds to lead the host Tar Heels (18-4, 8-1 ACC) past the Wolfpack (16-7, 4-6). North Carolina has won six in a row.

#22 Florida State 80, Syracuse 62: Terance Mann scored 22 points, Mfiondu Kabengele added 18 and the visiting Seminoles (17-5, 5-4 ACC) beat the Orange (16-7, 7-3).

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/collegesports/article/Illinois-turns-to-defense-to-upset-9th-ranked-13593267.php.

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