Demitri McCamey scored 22 points and recorded 11 assists in lifting Illini over Michigan State. The loss is the second consecutive one for the Spartans who played without their top player Kalin Lucas.
The Illini jumped out to a quick ten point lead as McCamey hit two three-point shots and dished off an assist to D.J. Richardson.
But Draymond Green gave MSU a lift, hitting back-to-back interior shots to cut the Illini lead to four. MSU got unexpected first half contributions from Garrick Sherman, Austin Thornton and Isaiah Dahlman in cutting the Illini's lead to just one at the half.
MSU took a short lived lead on Delvon Roe's short jumper to go up 36-35, but McCamey continued to steady the Illini hitting back-to-back jumpers and assisting on two others to keep Illinois neck and neck with the surging Spartans.
Green refused to be outplayed by McCamey setting up Sherman for an interior layup, hitting a jumper and a driving layup to offset back-to-back three's by McCamey.
Chris Allen got into the fray, nailing back-to-back triples of his own and suddenly MSU owned a two point lead. After a timeout, Illinois went on a 11-2 run to go up by seven with 6:55 remaining.
Allen nailed another triple to pull MSU to within four and after a Korie Lucious steal and run out, which he converted into a 1-of-2 from the free throw line, MSU seemed poised to make one of their patented last minute flurries to win late.
With the game tied at 68 with 1:46 remaining, Brandon Paul got loose for a layup, Raymar Morgan turned it over and with just :39 remaining McCamey put the dagger in with another long triple.
Green answered with a tip-in, but Korie Lucious fouled D.J Richardson who hit one of two for a four point advantage. Durrell Summers made it interesting with a triple to pull MSU to within one, but fouled Richardson on the ensuing possession, he made two free throws, Summers missed a desperation triple attempt and Mike Davis slammed home the long rebound.
Green led MSU with a great 17 point, 16 rebound performance. Allen poured in 15 on 4-of-6 shooting from the perimeter and probably should have taken three or four more outside shots. Summers added eleven points but no other Spartans was in double figures.
McCamey was aided by 16 from Davis and 14 from Richardson.
MSU can't feel sorry for themselves, they must right the ship and get ready to defend what is now, only a one-game first place lead against Purdue, who sits just 1 1/2 games back of the Spartans.