The No. 24 women’s basketball team closed the first half with a 17-3 run and leads Illinois 41-24 at halftime.
MSU announced before the game that junior guard Kiana Johnson has been suspended indefinitely for a violation of team rules. No further details are available at this point.
Junior forward Becca Mills leads all scorers with 14 points, freshman guard Tori Jankoska has eight points and senior guard Klarissa Bell has four points, six rebounds and three assists.
Junior guard Ivory Crawford has nine points and six rebounds for Illinois.
Similar to the last game against Illinois, Mills got it going early, scoring on a layup and a jumper to get the Spartans going.
Redshirt freshman guard Aerial Powers and Bell added to the point total to give MSU an early 8-2 lead. After Jankoska nailed a 3-pointer to put the Spartans up 11-2, Illinois whistled a timeout with 17:01 on the clock.
Illinois came alive a bit out of the timeout, cutting the lead to 15-9. But Jankoska nailed her second 3-pointer of the game with 14:23 on the clock, extending the lead back to nine.
The Fighting Illini continued to fight, engineering an 10-2 run and taking advantage of three Spartan turnovers. Taylor Gleason’s jumper narrowed the lead to seven, and Amber Moore nailed another to trim the lead to five, 24-19, with 8:33 remaining.
Crawford’s layup made it a three-point game, but Mills and Agee scored on consecutive possessions to make it a seven-point game.
Bell’s jumper with 3:47 remaining stretched the lead back to 11 once again, 32-21. After two free throws by Oden, Mills hit two free throws and a layup to make it a 13-point lead.
Then, senior forward Annalise Pickrel hit a 3-pointer and Jankoska got to the rim for a layup, and the Spartans had an 18-point lead with under a minute left.
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