Illinois bombards Michigan State

Posted: Wednesday, February 02, 2005

 

  Michigan State's Maurice Ager, left, dives for a loose ball against Illinois' James Augustine in the second half Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005, in East Lansing, Mich. Illinois won, 81-68. AP Photo/Al Goldis

Michigan State's Maurice Ager, left, dives for a loose ball against Illinois' James Augustine in the second half Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2005, in East Lansing, Mich. Illinois won, 81-68.

AP Photo/Al Goldis

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Dee Brown backpedalled with his right arm held high and wrist cocked after making a 3-pointer.

It was a sight No. 1 Illinois enjoyed often against Michigan State.

Luther Head scored 22 points, Brown had 18 and the Fighting Illini made 13 3-pointers to remain undefeated with an 81-68 victory over the 12th-ranked Spartans on Tuesday night.

''In the warmups, I shot two airballs and the fans started talking trash,'' Brown said. ''When people start talking trash, it just puts fuel in my tank. I knew I was going to get hot.''

Illinois (22-0, 8-0 Big Ten) was expected to face a tough test against Michigan State (14-4, 5-2) in an arena known to be raucous. But several Illini calmly made 3-pointers and when they were not making shots from beyond the arc, they scored on low-post moves and mid-range jumpers in their finely tuned half-court offense.

''I thought it was louder during warmups than during the game,'' said Illinois' Deron Williams, who missed only one of five 3-pointers and scored 14 points.

Illinois shot 56.9 percent overall and was 13-of-24 beyond the arc.

On the other end of the court, the Illini wouldn't let Michigan State get much done because they seemed to have their bodies, arms or hands in every passing lane. The Spartans had 13 turnovers and only one was unforced.

Illinois is one of two unbeaten teams in Division I, along with No. 5 Boston College, which beat West Virginia 62-50 on Tuesday.

Alan Anderson scored 14 points for the Spartans, who lost their 12th straight game against a ranked opponent, dating to the regional finals of the 2003 NCAA tournament.

No. 5 Boston College 62, West Virginia 50

BOSTON — Craig Smith scored 23 points to lead the Eagles who remained unbeaten and matched the school-record 19-game winning streak.

Smith was scoreless while the Mountaineers built an 18-9 lead with 9:21 left in the first half. Then he scored 17 of the Eagles' next 24 points, giving them the lead for good, 33-32, with a layup with 16:04 remaining.

Boston College (19-0, 8-0 Big East) matched its school-record winning streak set in 1968-69. It already has its highest ranking and best start ever.

Mike Gansey and Tyrone Sally each had 10 points for West Virginia (12-7, 2-6), which has lost six of seven.

Clemson 88, No. 22 Maryland 73

CLEMSON, S.C. — Sharrod Ford tied his career high with 25 points and the Tigers snapped a 13-game losing streak against Maryland.

Clemson (11-10, 2-7 Atlantic Coast Conference) had not beaten the Terps since a 78-65 overtime win at Littlejohn Coliseum on Dec. 4, 1997. The Tigers had lost five straight overall and seven of eight.

John Gilchrist had 18 points for the Terrapins (13-6, 4-4), who missed their final 13 shots of the first half and fell behind 45-29.

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