Illinois' D.J. Richardson (1) looks to pass as Michigan State's Mike Kebler (20) defends in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Assembly Hall in Champaign, Ill on Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010. (AP Photo/Heather Coit)
Feb. 6, 2010
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP)--Demetri McCamey had 22 points and 11 assists to lead Illinois to a 78-73 upset of No. 5 Michigan State on Saturday night, sending the Spartans to another loss without Kalin Lucas.
The Illini led by a point at halftime and by seven in the game's final minutes. But they couldn't put the Spartans away until freshman D.J. Richardson hit a free throw with 15 seconds to play for a 76-73 lead.
Mike Davis added 16 points for Illinois. Draymond Green's 17 points led Michigan State in the absence of Lucas, who sprained his right ankle in a loss to Wisconsin on Tuesday. The Spartans' scoring leader said he expected to play Tuesday against Purdue.
Illinois (16-8, 8-3) got within a game of the first-place Spartans (19-5, 9-2) in the Big Ten.
Richardson and McCamey finished off the Spartans in the game's final minutes. McCamey hit a 3 with 37 seconds to play and with MSU forced to foul, Richardson made three free throws in the final 26 seconds and slammed home a dunk at the buzzer as the crowd rushed the court at the Assembly Hall.
Lucas nearly helped the Spartans win from the bench. With the Spartans trailing 57-64 and 7:17 remaining, he got into the huddle and told his teammates to calm down. Then he pulled his replacement, Korie Lucious, aside for a one-on-one chat.
When play resumed, Lucas could be seen sitting next to Izzo, a spot usually reserved for assistant coaches.
The Spartans eventually got within a point, making it 66-65 with 3:44 remaining, but never regained control.
The Spartans fought back from an early 10-point hole to make it 35-34 at halftime, and even briefly took the lead in the second half.
McCamey opened the second half with 10 points in nine minutes to keep Illinois in the game. At times, he appeared to be the Illini's only option.
His back-to-back 3s put the Illini up 53-47 lead with 13:10 to play, but Michigan State scored the next five points, and went ahead after McCamey missed a 3-pointer on the next possession and Chris Allen made one with 11:21 to go.