National Basketball Association
Penn St. 83, Illinois 76
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 23, 2019
Where: State Farm Center, Champaign, Illinois
# Paul Szelc, # Courtney Green, # Terry Oglesby
Lamar Stevens scored 25 points and Mike Watkins had 10 points with 12 rebounds Saturday to boost visiting Penn State past Illinois 83-76 in a Big Ten Conference game at Champaign, Ill.
Josh Reaves added 14 points and Rasir Bolton had 11 for the Nittany Lions (11-16, 4-12 Big Ten), who earned their third victory in four games.
Penn State led by as many as 15 points in the second half, but Illinois came within four points on a Trent Frazier 3-pointer with 2:21 to play. The Fighting Illini (10-17, 6-10) were unable to come any closer, as Penn State closed the victory out from the free-throw line.
The Nittany Lions finished 26-for-32 (81.3 percent) from the line, while Illinois was 18-for-28 (64.3 percent).
Ayo Dosunmu scored 18 points to lead four Illinois players in double figures. Andres Feliz had 17 points, while Giorgi Bezhanishvili scored 16 and Frazier delivered 11. Bezhanishvili added 10 rebounds.
Penn State led 39-32 at halftime behind 14-for-28 (50 percent) shooting from the floor and an 8-for-10 (80 percent) effort at the free-throw line.
The Illini tied the game at 19 on a Bezhanishvili field goal at the 10:53 mark of the first half. Penn State began gaining separation after that, responding with an 18-5 run over the next 6:59. Myreon Jones' 3-pointer punctuated the surge, which began with a 3-pointer from Josh Reaves.
Illinois drew to within six points early in the second half, but Penn State pulled away on the strength of disciplined defense and good ball movement.
Illinois, and most of the home crowd, seemed to grow especially disenchanted with the officials midway through the second half. After corralling an offensive rebound, Penn State forward John Harrar elbowed the Illini's Andres Feliz under the basket as he rose for a shot. Referees ruled that Harrar was fouled on the shot, but also assessed the sophomore with a flagrant foul.
Harrar hit both free throws before Illinois' Dosonmu made 1 of 2. Penn State led 61-47 with 9:53 to go once the incident had settled.
Penn state has won five consecutive games in the series.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Lamar Stevens 25
Ayo Dosunmu 18
Jamari Wheeler 5
Ayo Dosunmu 3
Mike Watkins 12
Giorgi Bezhanishvili 10
Lamar Stevens 8
||Free Throws Made
Giorgi Bezhanishvili 6
Lamar Stevens 2
Giorgi Bezhanishvili 2
Mike Watkins 5
Giorgi Bezhanishvili 1
Team Stats Summary