Fans flooded the floor at the State Farm Center on Tuesday night after Illinois pulled off a stunning 79-74 upset victory over No. 9 Michigan State in Champaign.
The Illinois defense forced 24 turnovers and guard Aaron Jordan dropped 24 points in the Illini victory, making it two straight wins for Brad Underwood and Co. It’s also the team’s third victory in four games.
Three other Illini hit double figures on Tuesday, as Giorgi Bezhanishvili scored 16 and Trent Frazier added 15 points. Andres Feliz pitched in with 10 points off the bench.
Illinois built a 13-point lead in the first half and took a 41-32 advantage over Michigan State into the locker room. After earning its biggest lead of the night at 58-44 with 13:11 left in the contest, Illinois allowed the Spartans back into the game.
Michigan State used a 22-5 run to take a 66-63 lead with around five minutes remaining in the game. But the Illini made a final push, ending the game on a 16-8 run to close out the Spartans. After the clock hit zero, Illinois fans stormed the floor.
"Storm, @IlliniMBB, storm!" 🔥
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) February 6, 2019
Illinois improved to 4-8 in the B1G with the win and is now 8-15 on the season. For Michigan State, this was the third loss in as many games. The Spartans are now 9-3 in conference play and 18-5 overall.
The Illini have been pretty hot recently, winning three of their last four contests. Two of those wins have come against ranked opponents — No. 13 Maryland and No. 9 Michigan State. They also knocked off Nebraska last Saturday.
Next, Illinois will attempt to win three-straight games as it hosts Rutgers on Saturday.