Spartans take down #5 Illinois 81-72

Spartans shot 55% from the floor
The Michigan State Spartans pulled off a massive upset over #5 Illinois on Tuesday.
The Michigan State Spartans pulled off a massive upset over #5 Illinois on Tuesday.(WILX)
Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 10:55 PM EST
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - In another incredible performance, the Michigan State Spartans upset #5 Illinois, 81-72 at the Breslin Center Tuesday night.

The Spartans fed off their win over Indiana Saturday, and won with the help of two words.

“Connected, and attitude,” said guard Joshua Langford. “You know, we wanted to build off our Indiana win, and we tried to continue to be locked in and connected and have a solid attitude.”

“That was the battle cry for the last two weeks. It was the number one goal we’ve had the last week in a half,” said Head Coach Tom Izzo.

Aaron Henry led the way with 20 points for Michigan State, his second straight game leading the team in points.

The Spartans’ defense came up big, holding the Illini to just 40% from the floor.

Rocket Watts had an impressive night for Michigan State, scoring 13m, and Joshua Langford scored a double double (15 points, 16 rebounds).

It was a chippy game, with two Spartans (Julius Marble and Thomas Kithier fouling out. Michigan State committed a whopping 24 fouls.

Marcus Bingham Jr. shot 100% from the floor, with some big plays on defense against Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn.

The Spartans have a quick turnaround; their next game and the first of five games in 11 days is Thursday at home against #4 Ohio State.

Langford thinks the team finally found their identity.

“We’re really coming into ourselves as a team, and like that word that we’ve been using consistently since the Indiana game, we’re becoming more connected.”

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