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COL BKB: Michigan State 80, Illinois 75

Jan. 31, 2013 at 9:47 PM

EAST LANSING, Mich., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Keith Appling scored the last of his 24 points at the foul line with 2 seconds to go Thursday, securing an 80-75 win for No. 9 Michigan State over Illinois.

The Spartans overcame a 10-point halftime deficit by holding the Illini scoreless for the first 4:38 of the second period and eventually fought off the upset bid.

Appling made 7-of-12 from the field and he hit a clutch shot with 48 seconds left that gave the Spartans a six-point lead. Michigan State improved to 18-4 and is 7-2 in Big Ten Conference play. Indiana and Michigan share the league lead at 7-1 and will meet Saturday.

Michigan State scored the first 14 points of the second half and took the lead for good when Gary Harris hit a 3-pointer 3:44 into the period.

Harris and Denzel Valentine both scored 14 points and Michigan State hit 53 percent of its field goal attempts.

Illinois (15-7, 2-6) was led by Tracy Abrams with 16 points.

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