Illinois Runs Past Lucas-Less Spartans, 78-73

Afrikka BambataaContributor IFebruary 6, 2010

INDIANAPOLIS - MARCH 13:  Demetri McCamey #32 of the Illinois Fighting Illini brings the ball up court against the Michigan Wolverines during the second round of the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 13, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

A jam packed Assembly Hall of 16,618 watched their Fighting Illini take down No. 5 Michigan State. Michigan State came into tonight facing a tough challenge, playing without their leader Kalin Lucas. While on the other hand, Illinois faced a must win situation because of the tough stretch of road games in the near future. This one was a battle to watch.

The conference battle definitely came down to guard play. Without Kalin Lucas Michigan State lacked penetration, and the ability to take care of the ball. As a team the Spartans turned the ball over 18 times.

 Illinois guard Demetri McCamey played like former Illinois guard Deron Williams who just happens to be his idol. McCamey has accounted for nearly 48 percent of Illinois’ offense in Big Ten play and things were no different today.

Demetri on the day took on the role of scorer, and assist leader. With 0:39 seconds left on the clock in a clutch situation McCamey took a three point field goal and nailed it. The Illini beat the Spartans 78-73, forcing them to their first two game losing streak in conference play this season.

McCamey finished the game with 22 points, and 11 assist; career high.

The Illinois Fighting Illini picked up a much needed win over a ranked opponent, as the conference race gets more competitive. The Illini are now (16-8) and (8-3) in conference play.

Illinois’ catches their next action at Wisconsin Tuesday December 19th.