NCAA News Wire
Illinois 60, Penn State 55
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — For the second time in two meetings, Illinois’ defense clamped down on Penn State’s offense, leading to a win.
Illini guard Kendrick Nunn scored 19 points, and Illinois held Penn State to three points in the last 9:44 of a 60-55 win in the Bryce Jordan Center on Sunday.
The Nittany Lions, who lost 75-55 to Illinois in Champaign on Jan. 4, went nearly nine minutes without a point until guard D.J. Newbill connected on a free throw with 51 seconds left to draw Penn State within 54-53.
Nunn hit a 3-pointer from the right corner with 22 seconds left, and Newbill answered with a layup to make it 57-55 with 14.7 seconds remaining.
Illini guard Tracy Abrams connected on two free throws, and Penn State guard Tim Frazier missed a 3-point try with five seconds left.
The Fighting Illini (14-10, 3-8 Big Ten) won for just the second time in their past six visits to the Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State (12-12, 3-8) lost its second game in a row after winning three straight.
Illinois got 11 points from guard Malcolm Hill and eight points from guard Rayvonte Rice, the team’s leading scorer who was held without a point in the first half.
The Nittany Lions got 19 points from Newbill and 11 from Frazier.
Newbill had 12 first-half points as Penn State fought back to tie the game 31-31 at the intermission.
The Fighting Illini, who got eight first-half points from guard Kendrick Nunn, used a 10-2 run to take a 31-22 lead on Nunn’s 3-pointer with 3:25 left before the Nittany Lions scored the final nine points of the half on a 3-pointer by Newbill and six points from Frazier.
Newbill, who had been ejected from the first matchup of the season against Illinois in early January, was four of six from the field and added five rebounds. Forward Donovon Jack had eight first-half points and five rebounds for Penn State, which had just two turnovers in the half, while guard Malcolm Hill had seven points in the half for Illinois.
NOTES: Penn State senior G Tim Frazier tied Freddie Barnes’ school career record for assists when he posted his 600th in the first half. … Penn State junior F Ross Travis returned to the starting lineup Sunday after coming off the bench in each of the previous four games. Travis started the Nittany Lions’ first 19 games before being replaced by freshman G Graham Woodward.
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