Michigan State was led by freshman Shannon Brown, who was making his return to his native Chicago area and was matched up against good friend Dee Brown of the Illini. Brown scored 12 for the Spartans and was the only MSU player in double figures.
The Spartans again appeared to be rattled by the boisterous Illini crowd and the Illinois players seized on that, causing several turnovers. The Illini packed their defense into a tight zone and forced the Spartans to shoot outside and State faltered.
The game was close at 23-20 with under six minutes left in the game and then the Illini rattled off fifteen unanswered points including four three-point shots to take a 35-20 halftime lead.
Michigan State never recovered from othat point forward. The Spartans next host the Minnesota Golden Gophers at the Breslin Center in a Valentine's Day matchup at 12:17pm EST.