NCAA Game Summary - Penn State at Illinois
(Thursday, February 21)
Final Score: Illinois 64, Penn State 59
Champaign, IL (Sports Network) - D.J. Richardson scored 18 points as the Illinois Fighting Illini held on to defeat the Penn State Nittany Lions, 64-59, in a Big Ten Conference clash at Assembly Hall.
Also scoring in double figures for the Illini (20-8, 7-7 Big Ten) was Brandon Paul who delivered 16 points in the team's fifth consecutive win.
The Nittany Lions (8-18, 0-14) were paced by Jermaine Marshall who tallied a game-high 20 points, shooting 4-of-8 behind the 3-point line. Sasa Borovnjak tied a career high with 17 points, adding a team-best six rebounds, while D.J. Newbill pitched in with 12 points and five assists, but he was also guilty of seven of the unit's 16 turnovers.
PSU opened the game on a 9-2 run, but from there the visitors were outscored 27-11 as Illinois established a 29-20 advantage at the break. The hosts held the edge despite shooting only 36.4 percent from the floor in the first half.
Following the break, PSU made good on 7-of-14 shots beyond the arc, compared to only 3-of-12 for the Illini, but at the same time the home team connected on 14-of-21 at the free-throw line in order to secure the win.
With the victory the Illini now have 20 wins for the 12th time in the last 14 seasons.
The Nittany Lions entered the night as one of only two programs at the Division I level that's still seeking their first conference victory of the season, the other being Grambling State which is 0-14 in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and is winless in 23 games overall in 2012-13 at the moment.
Penn State has now lost 18 consecutive conference games dating back to last season.
02/21 23:17:38 ET