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Spartans Use Huge Second Half Rally To Overcome Illini

MSU is now 7-2 in the Big Ten.

Score: No.13 Michigan State 80, Illinois 75

Star(s):Michigan State: Keith Appling 24 Pts, 8 Reb, 7 Ast. Illinois:Tracy Abrams 16 Pts, 5 Reb, 6 Ast.

Story: It was a slow start for Michigan State (to say the least) during the first half. The Spartans turned the ball over at an alarming rate in the opening minutes, immediately handing Illinois an eight point lead. It got even uglier, as the first half ended with Travis Trice taking a knee to the face, which took him out the rest of the game. The Spartans trailed Illinois, 37-27.

But Keith Appling dominated in the second half, leading the charge as the Spartans got off to a 14-0 run. The crowd at the Breslin Center reached "another level", keeping the energy going throughout the rest of the game. Freshman Denzel Valentine stepped up, scoring double figures after struggling during the last couple of games. And it was Appling who came through at the end with a layup followed by two game-sealing free throws. MSU got another home win and the Spartans improved to 7-2 in the Big Ten.