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Fighting Illini upset Spartans

Published: Monday, March 3, 2014 1:15 a.m. CDT
(Al Goldis)
Illinois' Tracy Abrams (13) puts up a shot against Michigan State's Matt Costello during the first half of Saturday's game in East Lansing, Mich. Illinois won 53-46.

Tracy Abrams scored 12 points, leading Illinois past slumping Michigan State 53-46 on Saturday in East Lansing, Mich.

The Fighting Illini (17-12, 6-10 Big Ten) have three straight victories for the first time since winning four in a row from Dec. 21 to Jan. 4. That successful stretch included a win over then-No. 23 Missouri.

The Spartans (22-7, 11-5) have dropped two straight, and six of their last 10 games. They were full strength for the first time in nearly 2 months, but simply weren’t good enough to beat a streaking team that seemed more inspired.

No. 16 Michigan 66, Minnesota 56: Nik Stauskas scored 21 points, and Glenn Robinson III provided an emotional lift with his dunks as Michigan locked up at least a share of the Big Ten title with a victory over Minnesota.

The Wolverines (21-7, 13-3) didn’t arrive at the Crisler Center expecting to have a chance to earn their third banner in 33 years, but Illinois changed that by upsetting Michigan State in East Lansing.

Nebraska 54, Northwestern 47: Shavon Shields had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead Nebraska, which took a 10-point lead with 7 minutes left and held on to defeat the visiting Wildcats.

Sunday’s games

No. 14 Wisconsin 71, Penn St. 56: Josh Gasser scored 15 points to lead a balanced Wisconsin offense in State College, Pa., and the Badgers won their seventh straight.

Wisconsin (24-5, 11-5 Big Ten) held onto third place in the Big Ten as Ben Brust scored 14 points, and Traevon Jackson, who made four clutch free throws down the stretch, added 13.

No. 20 Iowa 83, Purdue 76: In Iowa City, Roy Devyn Marble scored 21 points, and Iowa snapped a three-game losing streak.

Aaron White and Mike Gesell added 15 points each for the Hawkeyes (20-9, 9-7 Big Ten), who have recorded consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in 8 years.

Indiana 72, No. 22 Ohio St. 64: Kevin “Yogi” Ferrell scored 20 points, and Will Sheehey added 19 for Indiana in a win at home.

It was the second straight win for the Hoosiers (17-12, 7-9 Big Ten) – both over ranked teams in the last 4 days.

LaQuinton Ross and Lenzelle Smith Jr. had 19 points each for the Buckeyes (22-8, 9-8), who lost their second straight – both road games against teams in the bottom half of the conference race.

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