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Neitzel, Spartans visit Illinois

Mar 6, 2008 - 1:16 PM No. 18 Michigan St (23-6) at Illinois (12-17) 9:00 pm EST

CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (Ticker) - Drew Neitzel and Michigan State aim to build off their biggest win of the season when they visit Illinois in a Big Ten contest on Thursday.

Eighteenth-ranked Michigan State is coming off an impressive 103-74 win over then-No. 12 Indiana on Saturday, a victory that pushed their home record to 17-0.

Raymar Morgan scored 20 points and Neitzel added 17 as the Spartans (23-6, 11-5 Big Ten) shot a season-high 60 percent (37-of-61). It was their first win over a ranked team since they beat then-No. 4 Texas on December 22.

Michigan State will look to use that win as a springboard as it gears up for its 11th straight NCAA Tournament appearance.

But first Neitzel and company will try and snap a four-game losing streak at Assembly Hall. Then they visit Ohio State on March 9 prior to the start of the Big Ten Tournament on March 13.

As for Illinois (12-17, 4-12), it is coming off a 58-47 win over Iowa in which it shot just 38 percent (19-of-49).

The Illini, who lost 51-41 to the Spartans on January 30, are winless in seven games vs. ranked opponents.