Star guard Ayo Dosunmu crumbled to the floor clutching his left knee moments after Michigan State’s Xavier Tillman threw down a huge dunk that lifted the Spartans over the 22nd-ranked Illini 70-69.
Illinois did not provide an update on Dosunmu’s status, but coach Brad Underwood said “the outcome of the game is secondary.”
Dosunmu had 17 points Tuesday and is the team’s leading scorer at 15.8 per game. After Tillman’s go-ahead put-back with 6 seconds left, Dosunmu sprinted the ball down the floor but fell awkwardly on his left leg while trying to stop as time ran out.
Rocket Watts led the Spartans (17-8, 9-5 Big Ten) with 21 points, and Tillman had 17. Aaron Henry and Cassius Winston added 13 and 12, respectively.
Andres Feliz scored 15 points and Cockburn added 11 for Illinois (16-8, 8-5).
Michigan State went on a 6-0 run midway through the final half. With the Illini struggling from outside, the Spartans played a switching zone defense most of the game, and Illinois had trouble penetrating.
Dosunmu hit two layups and Illinois went on a 10-0 run with nine minutes left. Illinois went on another 10-0 run and took its first lead of the game, 61-60 with 5:27 left.
The Spartans led 37-20 at the half after starting the game in an 8-0 run with 3-pointers by Henry and Winston. Tevian Jones hit a 3-pointer at nearly four minutes into the game. Illinois was flat the entire first half and shot only 26% from the field, while the Spartans shot 50%.
Illinois travels to Rutgers on Saturday and No. 13 Penn State next Tuesday.