Spartans Hold on to Defeat Illinois
Men's basketball squad edges Illini, 51-49.
January 16, 1999
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Jason Klein scored 15 points and Morris Peterson had 11 points and 10 rebounds as No. 14 Michigan State defeated Illinois 51-49 Saturday night.
Illinois, which trailed by 10 points with six minutes left, had a chance to win at the buzzer but Cory Bradford's shot from beyond halfcourt bounced off the rim.
Michigan State (14-4, 3-1 Big Ten) has won 10 of its last 11 games, while Illinois (8-9, 0-5) has lost five in a row.
Bradford and Victor Chukwudebe led Illinois with nine points each.
Peterson's dunk gave Michigan State a 49-45 lead with 18 seconds left. Bradford scored with 10 seconds remaining and Illinois then intentionally fouled Andre Hutson, who made both free throws to make it 51-47.
Bradford scored with four seconds left to cut the margin to two and Illinois quickly fouled Antonio Smith, who missed a free throw to set up Bradford's desperation shot.
After falling behind by 10 points with six minutes left, Illinois scored nine straight points to close to 44-43 with 2:11 remaining.
Klein hit a 3-pointer for the Spartans, but Cleotis Brown countered with a basket for Illinois that made it 47-45 with 1:23 left.
The Spartans, the Big Ten leaders in shooting percentage at 49 percent, made only 35 percent from the field in the first half, including 1-for-11 on 3-pointers. But Illinois shot only 21 percent and trailed 27-17 at halftime.