Sunday, March 01, 2009

Big Ten: Spartans Clamp Down on Illini

#9 Michigan St. 74, #20 Illinois 66

The Fighting Illini trailed the entire game - by as many as 11 points - against the visiting Spartans, who came in with a 1 1/2 game lead in the Big Ten.

The son of an Illinois legend, Jeff Jordan's (yeah, that Jordan) steal and layup at 7:14 in the second half capped a furious Illinois rally and the first tie in the game since the opening tip.

It was the last field goal the Fighting Illini would score until Chester Frazier dropped in a three with 34 seconds left. By then it was too late as the Spartans clinched at worst a tie for the Big Ten title.

Kalin Lucas had an exceptional game with 18 points. Michigan State's backcourt is as solid as there is in the nation, bestowed with exceptional quickness and ball-handling skills important in post-season play. Spartans' coach Tom Izzo has his troops ready.

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