Cassius Winston had 21 points and Tillman scored 19, leading the 14th-ranked Spartans to a 76-56 win over Illinois on Thursday night.
Xavier Tillman had seven rebounds, a career-high six assists and a season-high four blocks.
Michigan State was in control from the outset but had just a six-point edge at halftime. The Spartans pulled away early in the second half with a 15-3 run.
Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu scored 13 of his 18 points in the first half and Alan Griffin finished with 17 points. Freshman center Kofi Cockburn, who entered the game averaging a team-high 16 points, had five points on 2-of-10 shooting.
Gabe Brown scored 12 points and Aaron Henry added 10 points for the Spartans. Marcus Bingham didn’t score but led the defensive effort against Cockburn and had a career-high with 12 rebounds and five blocks.
Michigan State led Illinois 36-30 after a feisty, foul-filled first half.
Both teams had a key player, Winston and Cockburn, limited by foul trouble and combined to have seven players called for two fouls in the opening 20 minutes.