Illinois Men's Basketball falls to Penn State

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

Penn State has won three straight meetings with IL, covering the spread in the last four meetings as well. 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. Earlier this season, they beat Penn State by 20 points.

The Nittany Lions won three of the five singles matches thanks to winning efforts by Gabby O'Gorman, Samantha Smith and Bennett Dunn.

Penn State hit.275 for the match with a set high.387 hitting percentage in the second set where the Nittany Lions recorded 14 kills on 31 swings while only committing two attack errors.

Penn State trailed 33-18 after the first quarter and 55-26 at halftime.

The Gophers reached the triple-digit mark in points for the fifth time this season and first time in Big Ten play.

"I wish we could eliminate halftimes", coach Brad Underwood said. "When we went on that streak we weren't really running offense".

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

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Additionally, senior Carlie Wagner and sophomore Jasmine Brunson each contributed with 11 points.

Unfortunately, Illinois got very little production from the rest of its starting five, as the other four players managed just 10 total points.

She shot a flawless 4-for-4 in the first half, with two of those coming from beyond the arc. Lamar Stevens finished with 11 points, while Mike Watkins and Josh Reaves scored 10 apiece, for Penn State.

Both teams struggled in the first half but a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Talor Battle gave the Nittany Lions a 24-23 lead at the break and was Battle's first made field goal of the game. After a timeout, Mark Alstork stepped on the line trying to inbound it, another turnover. She scored the first eight points for the Gophers as they took an early 8-2 lead. "I just kept going with it".

The Nittany Lions shot 54.5 percent from the field, outscored IL 34-12 in the paint and won their fourth consecutive game against the Illini. She ended the afternoon with 1,474 career tallies to sit No. 14 on the Penn State scoring charts, passing Katina Mack (1,463; 1992, 94-96) and Jess Stromm (1,466; 2002-05) in the game.

The Lady Lions (14-12, 5-8 Big Ten) are scheduled to host Northwestern at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Their eight wins in conference play are the most ever under Chambers.

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