IL basketball overwhelmed by Penn State in second half

Iowa’s Alex Marinelli glances at the clock during a bout at Carver Hawkeye Arena earlier this season

Iowa’s Alex Marinelli glances at the clock during a bout at Carver Hawkeye Arena earlier this season

The conference title marks the fifth in the last seven years for Penn State. The Nittany Lions haven't had a winning record in conference play in almost eight years and haven't made an NCAA tournament appearance since 2011. Tonight's game takes place from the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois and will air live on the Big Ten Network.

IL ever so slightly edged out Penn State in rebounds 32-28, though Lions scored 20 more points in the paint (34-14).

Can Penn State go on the road and take care of business when it takes on IL tonight at 7PM ET?

Five players reached double figures for the Nittany Lions, who improved to 18-9 overall and 8-6 in the conference.

"Today, I wasn't very pleased with that locker room", Underwood said. "We didn't run anything".

"We're a team right now that (makes) one mistake, and we hang our heads", Underwood said.

The Illini scored a season-low 16 points, and shot just 27.3 percent from the field, in the second half.

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Junior Teniya Page moved up two spots in the career scoring list with a 22-point effort against the Gophers.

She shot a ideal 4-for-4 in the first half, with two of those coming from beyond the arc. Leading the way for the Crusaders was Bakari Evelyn who had 15 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists, and 2 steals. Illinois State got a big 3-point play by Taylor Burninga to help the Redbirds to force OT and had no trouble pulling away for the victory after limited the Salukis to just 4-points in overtime.

Penn State got double-digit performances from all of its starters, led by 16 points from senior guard Shep Garner. After a timeout, Mark Alstork stepped on the line trying to inbound it, another turnover.

Lucas was the next-highest scorer for the home team with 10 points (5-6 FG), yet he scored eight of his points in the first half.

"I was really pleased with our bench", Chambers said. I will go with Penn State to win and cover.

The Nittany Lions had games scheduled against No. 14 Ole Miss, Georgia Tech, and Lipscomb on Saturday and Sunday, but inclement weather in Gulf Shores, AL washed out those final three games.

Illinois State come into this matchup ranked just 230th in scoring defense and 125th in defensive FG%, however, the Redbirds have won 5 of their last 7 games and have held their opponents in those victories to just 64.2 ppg. To do so the Illini (12-14, 2-11 Big Ten) will have to beat the Hoosiers (14-12, 7-7) in Bloomington - something that hasn't happened since 2010.

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