Tyson Walker's season high not enough as No. 12 Illinois tops slumping No. 19 Spartans

Kofi Cockburn, Joey Hauser, Julius Marble Illinois Michigan State Basketball
Posted at 3:36 PM, Feb 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-19 15:36:02-05

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Kofi Cockburn scored 27 points, Jacob Grandison had a season-high 24 and No. 12 Illinois held off No. 19 Michigan State 79-74 on Saturday.

Illinois (19-7, 12-4 Big Ten) moved ahead of No. 15 Wisconsin and into a first-place tie with No. 5 Purdue in the conference standings.

Tyson Walker scored a season-high 26 points and A.J. Hoggard had 15 for the Spartans (18-9, 9-6), who never led and trailed by as many as 16 points in the second half. Michigan State has lost four of five.

The Spartans rallied down the stretch, cutting the lead to two points several times in the final two minutes, before Trent Frazier made a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left to put the game out of reach. Frazier finished with 12 points.

Michigan State shot 31% from the floor in the first half and trailed 34-22 at the break but heated up after halftime, finishing the game at 46.8% shooting to Illinois’ 45%.

Cockburn scored in double figures for the 36th straight game, the third-longest such streak in the nation.


Illinois: The Illini had lost two of their previous three games, falling at Rutgers and at Purdue. Three of their final four regular-season games are at home as they chase a Big Ten title.

Michigan State: The Spartans could fall out of the AP Top 25 after going 0-2 this week.


Illinois: Hosts No. 18 Ohio State on Thursday.

Michigan State: At Iowa on Tuesday.