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.