CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) -- It was a play in three acts, and it resulted in a court-storming session after Illinois' first win over an AP Top 10 opponent since 2013.
The Illini (8-15, 4-8) built a convincing double-digit lead, watched it slowly evaporate in the mid second half, then held on for a 79-74 win over No. 9 Michigan State (18-5, 9-3) on Tuesday night at the State Farm Center.
Act I: Illinois dominates
The Illini defense forced an astounding 28 turnovers including 18 in the first half (while the Spartans forced just 2 in the half). The lead got as big as 14 points with 16:16 to play in the game. Trent Frazier (15 pts) and Ayo Dosunmu (24 pts) led the way with 3 steals each, and helped force All-America-caliber guard Cassius Winston into an uncharacteristic 9 turnovers.
Act II: Michigan State mounts comeback
Despite the turnover woes, Michigan State stayed hot all game: 58 percent from the field in the first half, 51.2 percent for the game and 23-of-25 from the free throw line. The Spartans took a 14-point deficit with 13:01 left to play and turned it into a 3-point lead with 5:25 to play on a Xavier Tillman putback. Cassius Winston led the team with 21 points.
Act III: Illinois regains momentum down stretch
When the Illini went back on their heels, Andres Feliz came through with a clutch three-point play to tie it up at 68. From there Ayo Dosunmu hit two three-pointers and gave Illinois a 74-68 lead that was preserved by free throws from Frazier and Giorgi Bezhaniskvili (16 pts).