STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) – Shep Garner scored 18 points, Payton Banks added 17 and Penn State beat Illinois 71-67 on Saturday.
Tony Carr and Mike Watkins chipped in 13 and 10 points, respectively, and Watkins pulled down nine rebounds for the Nittany Lions who held on after leading by 20 at halftime. The win snapped a 3-game losing skid for Penn State.
Malcolm Hill led Illinois with 19 points and Jalen Colman-Lands added 13.
Penn State (12-10, 4-5 Big Ten) led for all but 1:15 and took control early with pinpoint shooting.
The Nittany Lions made 60 percent of their first half shots and Garner hit the first of his team’s nine 3-pointers on his first attempt of the game. Meanwhile, the Illini (13-9, 3-6) endured two scoreless stretches in the first 20 minutes to trail 45-25 at halftime.
Illinois hosts No. 15 Wisconsin on Tuesday.
Penn State travels to Indiana on Wednesday.
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