No. 22 Illinois entered Tuesday's matchup with Michigan State having lost consecutive games to ranked opponents by single-digits. After trailing the Spartans by 17 at halftime, though, it appeared prepared to turn a corner.
The Fighting Illini roared back to take a 69-68 lead in the waning seconds of regulation on their home floor. They needed one more defensive stop to secure victory.
That's when a series of disastrous events struck the hosts.
First, Illinois allowed a putback dunk with that gave Michigan State a one-point edge with 6.6 seconds left. Then, leading scorer Ayo Dosunmu suffered a scary leg injury trying to beat the buzzer at the other end. He remained on the floor in pain as time expired and the handshake line began.
One of the wildest endings of the year pic.twitter.com/YHUO4md4ur
— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) February 12, 2020
Dosunmu was eventually helped off the floor by team staff, putting no weight on his left leg. Few details on the severity of the injury were available immediately following the contest.
Brad Underwood says Ayo Dosunmu is with the medical staff and his family right now in his postgame radio interview.
“We’ve had very little contact with him at this point.” #Illini
— Gavin Good (@itsallG_O_O_D) February 12, 2020
Underwood said on radio they don’t know anything about Ayo’s status yet. But says he’s with his family and the doctors right now. FWIW, Brad’s tone didn’t sound very encouraging. Praised the quality of medical staff at Illinois.
— Dave Wischnowsky (@wischlist) February 12, 2020
Dosunmu, a 6-5 sophomore, is Illinois' engine, averaging almost 16 points per game this season. He scored 17 in the loss to the Spartans to go along with nine rebounds.