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On Saturday, Illinois overcame Tom Izzo’s Michigan State Spartans, 79-74, and the weight of the consecutive loss set Izzo off in the postgame.
Michigan State dropped lost a rallying effort after being down 12 going into the half, which added to the frustration of HC Izzo.
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The Spartans coach pounded on the officials for skipping the whistles with Illinois while MSU was subject to an errant foul call or two.
“I’m sick and tired of the officiating, the consistency,” Izzo admitted from the podium. “I’ll just give you one example: Their guys go down, we come down, they stop it; my guy goes down, Malik Hall, they go down, they let it play.”
“I’m sick of it. I’m sick of that and the inconsistencies inside.”
Spartans point guard Tyson Walker helped fuel their delayed rally; scoring 24 points out of the half. Guard AJ Hoggard helped uplift MSU to within reach. He contributed with 15 points, nine in the second half, but the Spartans still fell to Illinois.
Officiating problems or not, the Spartans were victims of rash turnovers (11 total) and lack in planning to stop Illinois’ Kofi Cockburn, who scored 27 points and nabbed nine rebounds on 31 minutes of play. Fighting Illini forward Jacob Grandison also went off with 24 points, five assists and five rebounds.
Their resilient fourth-quarter performance was a spark of positive potential, contrary to the tepid threat of the Spartans this season.
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MSU fell to 18-8 on the year (9-6 conference), sliding down the Big Ten rankings.