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Spartans edge Illini

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 08:28 PM
ST. LOUIS -

Keith Appling led a pivotal run early in the second half and finished with 24 points and seven assists to help No. 13 Michigan State beat Illinois 80-75 on Thursday night.

The Spartans (18-4, 7-2 Big Ten) scored the first 14 points of the second half to take their first lead.

The Fighting Illini (15-7, 2-6) lost for the fifth time in six games. They had a chance to be the first team with four wins against currently ranked teams.

Harris and fellow freshman Denzel Valentine had 14 points each, and Braden Dawson had 12 points.

NO. 8 ARIZONA 57,

WASHINGTON 53

Nick Johnson scored 15 points, five in the final 2 minutes, and Arizona (18-2, 6-2 Pac-12) rallied from an early deficit for an ugly victory against Washington (12-9, 4-4), snapping a three-game losing streak to the Huskies.

Mark Lyons and Solomon Hill both added 10 points for the Wildcats, who won their second straight after losing at home to UCLA.

This victory by the Wildcats won't be remembered for the quality of play, but Arizona remained just one game behind Oregon at the top of the Pac-12 standings.

SAINT LOUIS 75,

NO. 9 BUTLER 58

Jordair Jett matched his career best with 19 points and Saint Louis pressured Butler into a season-worst 23 turnovers, recording the program's biggest upset in nine years with a victory that had fans storming the court to celebrate.

Dwayne Evans added 15 points on 6-for-8 shooting and five rebounds for the Billikens (15-5, 4-2 Atlantic-10), who fed off just the fourth sellout at 5-year-old Chaifetz Arena and led by double digits most of the game.

Rotnei Clarke had 17 points for Butler (17-4, 4-2).

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