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Illini upends Michigan State

Tracy Abrams scored 12 points, leading Illinois to a 53-46 win over No. 18 Michigan State on Saturday.

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Illinois is on a roll thanks in large part to its stifling defense.

Fighting Illini coach John Groce, though, is not ready to celebrate.

Tracy Abrams scored 12 points, leading Illinois to a 53-46 win over No. 18 Michigan State on Saturday.

The Fighting Illini (17-12, 6-10 Big Ten) have held four consecutive opponents to fewer than 50 points for the first time since the 1947-48 season, according to STATS LLC.

"That's hard to do in this league with the great coaches and great teams," Groce said.

Illinois has three straight victories for the first time since winning four in a row from Dec. 21 to Jan. 4. That successful stretch included a win over then-No. 23 Missouri.

"As soon as you act like you've arrived, you're going to fall pretty quickly," Groce said.

The Spartans (22-7, 11-5) are falling fast. They've lost two straight and six of their last 10 games.

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