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No. 7 Michigan State beats Illinois 73-63

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Kalin Lucas shook off a slow start and scored 20 points, leading No. 7 Michigan State to a 73-63 victory over Illinois on Saturday.

The Spartans (15-3, 5-0 Big Ten) broke a first-place tie in the conference.

Demetri McCamey scored 15 points for the Fighting Illini (12-6, 4-1) and didn't get much help.

Lucas' first and only basket in the first half gave Michigan State its first lead 4½ minutes before halftime and Illinois couldn't come back.

The Spartans closed the first half with an 18-5 run — taking a 36-29 lead — and scored the first seven points after halftime.

Illinois pulled within eight, then Lucas took over with six straight points and a three-point play that put the Spartans up 54-35.