Sloppy Michigan State Spartans men's basketball team shoots its way to victory at Illinois, 87-74
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Miles Bridges helped No. 6 Michigan State overcome a game so sloppy, coach Tom Izzo called it “ridiculous.”
Bridges scored 31 points, Jaren Jackson Jr. had 21 points and 11 rebounds and the Spartans beat Illinois 87-74 on Monday night despite committing 25 turnovers.
It was the most giveaways for Michigan State (18-3, 6-2 Big Ten) since November of 2005 against Arizona, when they had 27 in an overtime win. This was the Spartans’ third straight game with 20 or more turnovers, and they’ve won each game by double digits.
“It was a bit ridiculous what we did out there tonight,” Izzo said.
Michigan State shot 68.2 percent, which set a record at State Farm Center for an opponent’s shooting percentage. Illinois shot 43.1 percent.
Kipper Nichols led Illinois (10-11, 0-8) with a career-high 27 points. Trent Frazier and Leron Black added 13 and 12, respectively.
Michigan State outrebounded Illinois 37-15. The Illini didn’t record their first rebound until nearly 10 minutes into the game.
“That was a war out there,” Izzo said. “We had the most turnovers in a decade and our best field goal percentage in a long time. I know it doesn’t add up, but somehow it did for us tonight.”
Illinois coach Brad Underwood, whose team has lost six in a row — all Big Ten games — managed to sound optimistic after his team’s effort against an elite team.
“I liked the team I coached out there tonight,” he said. “Losing is unacceptable, but we’re young and everything is a growing process for us. Baby steps. Continuing to learn.”