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NCAA Game Summary - Penn State at Illinois
(Wednesday, February 18th)
Final Score: Penn State 38, (18) Illinois 33
Champaign, IL (Sports Network) - Talor Battle finished with a game-high 11 points, which included four key free throws in the final minute, as Penn State edged 18th-ranked Illinois, 38-33, in a low-scoring affair that saw both teams set a season-low in points.
Chris Babb and Andrew Jones each had seven points for Penn State (19-8, 8-6 Big Ten), which has won two in a row overall and three in a row at Illinois -- the first time the school has won three straight road games against a particular conference foe since joining the Big Ten in 1993. The Nittany Lions pulled out the win despite shooting 28.3 percent from the field and just 3- of-17 from three-point range. The team's previous season-low point total was in a 54-44 loss to Wisconsin on February 8.
Jones also collected eight rebounds, while Jamelle Cornley finished with seven boards and five points for Penn State, which last was held to 38 points on March 1, 2006, in a 65-38 loss at Iowa.
Chester Frazier and Trent Meachem each had seven points to pace Illinois (21-6, 9-5), which had its three-game win streak snapped. The Illini made 30 percent of their shots and 3-of-16 from beyond the arc, but didn't attempt a single free throw in the loss.
Illinois' previous low in points came on January 29, in a 59-36 loss to Minnesota.
Almost five minutes into the second half, neither team had cracked 20 points. But Cornley's free throw gave Penn State a 20-19 lead with 15:23 left.
However, Illinois responded with a 10-0 run, which Demetri McCamey started with a layup and ended with a three-pointer to put the Illini ahead 29-20 just before the midway point.
It was the largest lead either team held to that point, but Penn State took the lead back with a 14-2 run. Battle began it with a layup and ended the surge with a jumper to give the Lions a 34-31 edge with 2:23 to play.
Mike Tisdale, who finished with six points and 10 boards, responded with a jumper, and the teams missed their next few shots. The game went into the final minute with PSU holding a 34-33 lead, and Battle made it to the free throw line with 16.6 seconds left, making both shots.
McCamey missed a three at the other end and Battle grabbed the rebound in the ensuing scrum for the ball. He was fouled with 2.0 on the clock and again made two free throws to seal the PSU win.
Neither team reached double-figure scoring until Andrew Ott's layup gave Penn State an 11-6 lead with a little over nine minutes left in the first half. Cammeron Woodyard followed with a layup for the Lions for a seven-point lead.
Illinois scored the next five points, and Penn State went into halftime with a 17-15 lead.
The final score shattered the previous record for fewest combined total points at Assembly Hall (A 48-37 Illinois win over Northwestern on February 18, 2007). It was also Illinois' lowest point total ever at Assembly Hall, and the only time there the Illini didn't attempt a single free throw...Penn State made 9-of-11 free throw attempts...Mike Davis ended with nine rebounds and four points for the Illini...Each team had 32 rebounds...The 33 points for Illinois were the fewest for a Penn State opponent since defeating Juniata 64-26 in 1989, and it was just the second time since 1964 Penn State has won a game when scoring less than 40 points.
02/19 00:54:13 ET