Penn State Falls, 64-59, At Illinois
Marshall's third 20-point game of the season, Borovnjak's career high tying 17 lead Lions
CHAMPAIGN, ILL., FEB. 21, 2013 –Penn State (8-18; 0-14 Big Ten) got 20 points from Jermaine Marshall and another career high 17 from Sasa Borovnjak but fell, 64-59, at Illinois (20-8; 7-7 Big Ten) in a close game Thursday in snowy Champaign.
Penn State out-shot the Illini hitting 43 percent to Illinois' 39 percent, but was out-scored by 14 points at the foul line as Illinois made 23-of-36 foul shots in a game that saw 52 fouls called. Neither team led by more than nine.
Marshall shot 4-of-8 from three for his third 20-point game of the season while Borovnjak was 7-of-10 from the floor for his third-straight double-figure scoring game as he equaled his career best 17 points posted in his previous game at Michigan.
Illinois was led by 18 points from D.J. Richardson and 16 from Brandon Paul.
“I give them a lot of credit, they battled,” Illinois coach John Groce said of Penn State. “I love their attitude, their disposition and how hard they play. I give them a lot of credit. I thought they had a lot of energy today.”
Penn State used a 7-0 run to start the second half to pull within two, 29-27, and stayed within 4-6 points of the Illini for virtually the entire second period, but could not get the game tied or take the lead. The Lions were whistled for 31 fouls on the night, with Ross Travis and Kevin Montminy fouling out, and had 16 turnovers.
A Borovnjak three-point play had the Lions down just four, 50-46, with 5:21 to play and a Nick Colella three had Penn State within three, 52-49, just seconds later. Illinois scored its final nine points at the foul line to fend of the Lions who pulled within three again, 62-59, when Marshall hit a three with under 10 seconds to play.
Penn State trailed 29-10 at the half after leading by as many as seven early. The Lions committed 10 turnovers in the half and found foul trouble sending the Illini to the foul line 15 times. The Lions shot 44 percent in the half, while Illinois shot 36 percent but scored six more points at the foul line and out-shot the Lions 4-1 from the three-point line.
Borovnjak came out hot hitting his first three from the floor to help the Lions to a 9-2 lead. Richardson carried the scoring early for Illinois and his steal and three-point play capped a 9-2 Illini run that tied the game at 11.
The game got bogged down in a slew of foul calls midway through the half and neither team shot well at the foul line. Penn State finished the half with 14 fouls called against it while Illinois had nine. The Lions hit just 3-of-8 at the foul line while the Illini went 9-of-15.
The game was tied at 15 when Joseph Bertrand's three helped start a 14-5 Illini run to close the half. Illinois scored the final seven points of the half, including a three from Brandon Paul to take its biggest lead of nine to the locker room at the break