for this game

Illinois gets back on track, tops Michigan St.

Jan 19, 2011 - 3:07 AM Champaign, IL (Sports Network) - Brandon Paul came off the bench and provided a game-deciding lift, scoring 20 points to push 23rd-ranked Illinois past No. 17 Michigan State, 71-62, in a pivotal Big Ten clash at Assembly Hall.

Jereme Richmond added 14 points and Demetri McCamey dished out 11 assists to go along with his 15 points. Mike Davis provided some interior muscle with 11 points and 11 rebounds for Illinois (14-5, 4-2 Big Ten), which responded from a two-game losing streak away from Champaign by using the Orange Crush to its advantage on Tuesday night.

Kalin Lucas scored 15 points, Durrell Summers 13 points and Draymond Green 12 for the Spartans (12-6, 4-2), who were passive in attacking the rim (attempting just nine foul shots). Michigan State stayed close by pounding the offensive glass, corralling 18 offensive boards, including seven by Delvon Roe.

The first half featured more scoring than the Spartans are accustomed to as Illinois found lanes to penetrate and dissect MSU's normally stingy defense. Illinois broke away from a 23-23 gridlock with five quick points on a Richmond slam and a Paul trey, one of four for the reserve. He connected on another moments later for a seven-point edge and a conventional three-point play from the back-up guard opened a 41-33 margin with just under three minutes to go.

Illinois held a 41-37 lead at the intermission then opened a double-digit edge at 53-43 on Paul's trey with just over 13 minutes remaining. The veteran Spartans did not fold, rattling off seven consecutive points capped by a pair of Roe rebounds and putbacks for a 59-57 game. Michigan State, after stealing the momentum, then went over four minutes without a point, as Illinois added six in a row to go back in front by eight, 65-57.

Summers finally connected from long range but Mike Tisdale answered at the other end. After a Lucas bucket the Spartans came up empty the rest of the wall, not putting a point on the scoreboard in the final four-plus minutes. The Illini made their free throws down the stretch to hold on.

Game Notes

Paul scored 17 of his 20 points in the first half...Illinois made 53.2 percent of its shots, while Michigan State connected on 37.5 percent of its shots from the floor...The Spartans made only 7-of-26 from beyond the arc...Illinois has a narrow 55-54 edge in the all-time series...Michigan State dropped to 1-3 in true road games...Roe scored eight points to go along with 10 rebounds.