Strong performances from Mike Watkins, Lamar Stevens lead Penn State over Illinois
Illinois might have been honoring the Flyin’ Illini from 30 years ago on Saturday, but it was Penn State who soared to victory at the State Farm Center.
Lamar Stevens scored 25 points and Mike Watkins recorded a double-double, leading Penn State to an 83-76 victory over Illinois on Saturday.
Penn State led by as many as 15 in the second half, but Illinois made a late run to close the gap, getting as close as four points at 70-66 with 2:21 left in the contest. But the Nittany Lions converted on some clutch free throws down the stretch and came away with enough stops to notch a key road win.
It was the third win in four games for the Nittany Lions, which has also posted victories over No. 7 Michigan and Nebraska over the last two weeks.
Stevens finished with 25 points and eight rebounds while Watkins registered 10 points and grabbed 12 boards in the win. Josh Reaves and Rasir Bolton also hit double figures for Penn State on Saturday, scoring 14 and 11, respectively.
Illinois was led by Ayo Dosunmu who had 18 points in the contest. Andres Feliz scored 17 off the bench and Giorgi Bezhanishvili had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Trent Frazier added 11 points.
Illinois was honoring the 1988-89 Flyin’ Illini team that went 31-5 on its way to a Final Four appearance.
With the win, Penn State improved to 4-12 in the B1G and 11-16 overall. Illinois dropped to 6-10 in conference play and 10-17 on the year.