Illinois shrugs off slow start, drops 98 points in win over Penn State
Considering how Illinois started the game, not a lot of people would have predicted Brad Underwood’s squad reaching 98 points in Wednesday’s game.
Right out of the gate, Penn State jumped all over Illinois with a hot start. The Nittany Lions built a 15-point lead just five minutes into the game and looked primed to put up an upset.
Unfortunately for them, Illinois woke up and was able to finish the first half on fire, even tying the game heading into the break. A big part of that was Kofi Cockburn who did not miss a shot in the first half.
After that, Illinois took a lead and continued to build on it in the second half behind an amazing stretch by guard Ayo Dosunmu. He scored 30 points, including 21 in the second half, while shooting 9-for-18 from the field with six rebounds and five assists.
Cockburn and Dosunmu did all the heavy lifting for the Illini, combining for 53 points in the win as Illinois put the loss to Rutgers in the rearview mirror. The only other player in double figures was Andre Curbelo with 15.
On the other side, the game and final score have to provide an odd feeling for Penn State. The Nittany Lions shot 53.8% from the floor, scored 81 points, and had two players – Myreon Jones and Izaiah Brockington – score 21 points. It still wasn’t enough as Penn State lost by 17 points.
Considering how Penn State looked in the upset of Virginia Tech, the back-to-back losses to Michigan and Illinois cannot feel great. Such is life in the B1G when the Illini are feeling it.