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Quick hits | No. 10 Illinois 71, Michigan State 68

Jan. 12—What happened

Illinois lent some credence to the idea — nearly picked apart Wednesday by Wisconsin and Northwestern — that winning on the road in the Big Ten is a difficult venture. The Illini stayed unbeaten at home in conference play with Thursday's win against Michigan State. A much-needed Quad I win for an Illinois team that hasn't accumulated all that many résumé boosters.

What it means

Wisconsin remains the lone unbeaten team atop the Big Ten standings, but Illinois kept pace in the top tier of the conference by fending off Michigan State. The group of one-loss Big Ten teams also includes Northwestern and Minnesota. A team the Illini already beat by 30 and another that's come out of nowhere to be an early league leader. Illinois is on solid Big Ten ground.

What's next

A fairly quick turnaround for a 1 p.m. Sunday tip at State Farm Center against a Maryland team that avoided an ugly home loss Thursday night against Michigan. But the Terrapins (10-6, 2-3 Big Ten) are still a far cry from the team projected to finish in the top four of the league ahead of the season. Mostly because they've got a roster full of guys that can't consistently knock down shots.

What was said

"It wast just kind of a no-flow game from our standpoint, but I though tour defense was great. I'm really excited about the fact (Michigan State guards A.J. Hoggard and Tyson Walker) took 36 shots and we only put them on the line four times. That was a big key going in — make them shoot hard shots, contested shots." — Illinois coach Brad Underwood