Saturday , Mar , 04 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Illini, Brown spoil Spartans senior day

East Lansing, MI (Sports Network) – Dee Brown scored 14 second half points as
10th-ranked Illinois knocked off 25th-ranked Michigan State, 75-68, in a Big
Ten battle at the Breslin Center.

Brown finished with 20 points and was 5-of-10 from beyond the arc for the
Illini (25-5, 11-5 Big Ten), who closed out the regular season with three
straight wins.

Rich McBride and Shaun Pruitt each had 12 points while Jamar Smith and James
Augustine chipped in 10 apiece in the victory.

Paul Davis poured in 21 points and pulled down 14 rebounds for Michigan State
(20-10, 8-8), which lost for the fifth time in its last seven games overall.
Shannon Brown had 20 points and six rebounds while Maurice Ager had 15 points
and six boards in the loss.

With the game all tied up at 48-48 in the second half, the Illini hit four
consecutive three-pointers for a 12-0 run and 60-48 advantage with just under
nine minutes remaining. Brown started the barrage from long distance and Smith
followed with back-to-back trey’s, and Brown capped the spurt with a three-
pointer from the right wing.

With around 6 1/2 minutes remaining, McBride hit from beyond the arc to make
it a 65-53 game.

The Spartans responded with a 6-0 dash to pull within 65-59 with about 4 1/2
minutes to play. Davis donated four points during the stretch.

Augustine then converted a three-point play after being fouled hard inside,
but at the other end, Ager responded with a three-point play of his own,
making it a 68-62 game with about two minutes left.

Michigan State was unable to pull any closer the rest of the way as Illinois
closed things out by hitting its free throws down the stretch.

Brown paced the Spartans with 13 points on 4-of-7 shooting from the floor in
the first half for a 35-34 advantage. Ager added 10 points at the break on 3-
of-4 shooting from the field.

Pruitt led the way for the Illini with eight points after the opening twenty
minutes. A jumper by Smith as time expired in the first half was originally
ruled a basket, however, the officials reversed their decision after halftime,
claiming Smith did not release the ball before time ran out.

Game Notes

The Illini reached 25 wins in a season for the sixth straight year…Illinois
has won the last five meetings and leads the all-time series at 52-47…The
Illini were 10-of-20 from beyond the arc…Before the game the Spartans
honored seniors Ager, Davis, Delco Rowley, Matt Trannon, Jason Aerts and
Anthony Hamo…Michigan State dropped to 12-2 at home this season.