CHAMPAIGN, Ill — Brandon Paul was the only Illinois player in double figures to help the Fighting Illini to a 42-41 victory over Michigan State at Assembly Hall. Defense or bad shooting was the factor in this game with Illinois shooting 32.6 percent from the field and Michigan State shooting 24.1 percent. Another big factor for the Michigan State Spartans was that Draymond Green went down with a knee injury in the 2nd half and never returned.
“He had a rough night,” Izzo said of Appling. “When Draymond went out, he tried to take the game over. It’s a shame because we had our chance and we didn’t get it done.”
This was a great and much needed win for Illinois and are pushing their hopes to make the big dance. Illinois has relied on rising junior Brandon Paul and he has done everything but disappoint. Ever since his 43 point performance against Ohio State, Paul has been averaging 19 points and 7 rebounds a game. Illinois is now 16-6 overall, 5-4 in Big Ten play, and will host Northwestern Sunday at home next.