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Michigan State basketball late rally top 10 Illinois beat - Yahoo Sports

Michigan State seniors lead epic comeback to defeat top-10 Illinois, earning crucial victory. Highlights and reactions from the game.

Michigan State basketball pulled off an impressive second-half comeback to secure a crucial win against top-10 opponent Illinois on Saturday. The game, held at the Breslin Center, saw the Spartans trailing by eight points with just eight minutes left on the clock. However, the team's seniors stepped up and led the charge, ultimately claiming an 88-80 victory.

The first half of the game was a closely contested affair, with both teams going on significant runs. Illinois managed to build a seven-point lead with a 14-3 run, only for Michigan State to respond with a 10-0 run of their own to take the lead before halftime, with the Spartans in front 44-41.

The second half followed a similar pattern, with the game remaining tight until Illinois went on a 12-2 run to establish a 72-64 lead with just under eight minutes remaining. However, Michigan State rallied, outscoring the Fighting Illini 24-8 to close out the game with a well-deserved victory.

The Spartans' senior leaders were instrumental in the win, with AJ Hoggard leading the scoring with 23 points, closely followed by Malik Hall with 22 points and Tyson Walker with 19 points. Jaden Akins also contributed 10 points to the team's winning effort.

Following this important win, Michigan State's overall record improved to 15-9, with a 7-6 record in Big Ten play. This victory is a significant step for the Spartans as they aim to secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament and extend their impressive tournament streak.

Looking ahead, Michigan State will face Penn State in a road game on Wednesday, with the tip-off scheduled for 6:30 p.m. ET and the game being televised on the Big Ten Network.

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