The Illinois Fighting Illini, currently ranked No. 25 in the nation, were upset 54-52 by the Penn State Nittany Lions on Thursday night. Illinois trailed for most of the second half only to come back and tie things in the final minute on a Brandon Paul three-pointer, but allowed Penn State to return the favor with a game-winning shot on the second-to-last possession.
With 48 second left, Brandon Paul made another big shot to tie the game up 52-52 after trailing the entire half. Penn State fought back on its next possession, though, with Tim Frazier waiting until the shot clock's final second to knock down the game-winning jumper. Illinois got one last chance on the final end, but Sam Maniscalco's shot was blocked by Jermaine Marshall.
Paul led Illinois in scoring with 20 points on 5-for-11 shooting. Meyers Leonard also added 15 points, but fouls helped to limit his impact in the second half of the game. Cammeron Woodyard was Penn State's leading scorer with 17 points, while Frazier added 12 points and nine assists.
The No. 25 Illinois Fighting Illini are trailing 25-23 against the Penn State Nittany Lions going into halftime on the road. Illinois is trying to maintain hold of its lead in the Big Ten standings, while Penn State is trying to get out of the basement after losing five of its past six games.
The Fighting Illini got out to an early lead, eventually getting up by as many as eight points. The Nittany Lions came back, though, riding a 16-6 run into the break to take the advantage. Both teams struggled offensively in the first half, with Illinois coming in at 33 percent shooting from the field while Penn State shot just slightly better at 35 percent.
Brandon Paul leads the way for Illinois after his monster game against Ohio State, scoring nine points. D.J. Richardson and Meyers Leonard have also scored six points apiece, with those three accounting for all but two of the Fighting Illini's points thus far. Cammeron Woodyard leads Penn State with 10 points and Tim Frazier has added eight points and four rebounds.