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Michigan State Vs Illinois Final Score: Spartans Fall 42-41 In Offensive Struggle

The Michigan State Spartans (17-5, 6-3 Big Ten) were held to a season-low in points on Tuesday night in a 42-41 loss to the Illinois Fighting Illini (16-6, 5-4 Big Ten) at Assembly Hall in Champaign.

More importantly, they lost a chance to take a share of the Big Ten lead.

Branden Dawson (12 points) was the only Spartan to score more than 7 points, Michigan State scored just three points in the final four minutes, and Derrick Nix made just 1-2 free throws with 14 seconds in regulation in an epic offensive struggle.

Rather than keep pace with the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Big Ten, the Spartans fell into a three-way tie for second place along with the Wisconsin Badgers and Michigan Wolverines.

Combining for 83 points, this marked the lowest-scoring game of the season for both teams.

The Spartans now get a few days off before a major showdown with in-state rival and No. 22 Wolverines (16-6, 6-3 Big Ten) on Sunday. That game, which will be televised on CBS, is scheduled to kick off at 1:00 p.m. eastern in East Lansing at Jack Breslin Student Events Center.

For more on the Michigan State Spartans, go to The Only Colors. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Basketball hub at