Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics
Penn State takes on No. 2 seed Northwestern on Friday night at 6:30 p.m.
CHICAGO – The Penn State men’s basketball team used a 14-3 run in a 4:26 stretch late in the second half to pull away before holding on for a 79-76 win over Illinois Thursday night in the Big Ten Tournament Second Round at the United Center.
The Nittany Lions now advance to the Big Ten Quarterfinals for the second-straight year and will face second-seeded Northwestern at 6:30 p.m. ET/5:30 p.m. CT Friday.
Andrew Funk led Penn State with 20 points behind a 6-for-9 showing from 3-point range. Camren Wynter tallied 18 points and five rebounds, while Seth Lundy had a double-double with 17 points and 10 boards. Jalen Pickett orchestrated all night long, finishing with 12 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Illini opened with a slight 7-4 lead, but the Nittany Lions turned in a 10-2 run over 4:16 to take a 14-9 advantage at the 12:24mark of the opening half. Camren Wynter caught fire, scoring eight of the Nittany Lions’ ten points over the stretch.
- Penn State kept adding to its lead, with five points by Seth Lundy and four by freshman Kanye Clary pushing the Nittany Lions’ lead up to 27-17 with 8:22 left in the first half.
- Illinois ended the first half on a 13-4 run to get back within one at 31-30. Lundy (11) and Wynter (10) each cracked double figures in the first half to lead the way for Penn State.
- Andrew Funk began the second half with a triple for the Nittany Lions, but the Illini responded with a 16-8 run over 5:25 to take their first lead in over 17 minutes. Illinois led 46-42 with 14:18 left to play.
- Funk responded with a triple to cut the lead down to one and an Illinois turnover led to a Jalen Pickett bucket that gave Penn State the lead back once again.
- The squads traded buckets over the next five minutes, with neither team leading by more than two over the stretch until a 12-3 spurt by the Nittany Lions put them up by seven at 67-59 with 3:42 left in the game.
- Penn State extended its lead to a game-high 12 points at the 1:51 mark with a dagger three by Funk, and the Nittany Lions locked down the Illini the rest of the way as they secured the 79-76 win and a matchup with No. 2 seed Northwestern in the quarterfinal round of the Big Ten Tournament.
- The Nittany Lions advance to the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals for the second-straight year.
- With the win, the Nittany Lions have secured the 12th 20-win season in the 127-year history of Penn State men’s basketball. Penn State is now 20-12 on the season.
- The Nittany Lions completed the three-game season sweep of the Illini.
- Penn State earned its first-ever win over Illinois in the Big Ten Tournament. The Nittany Lions were previously 0-3 against the Illini in the counference tourney.
- Penn State had four players score in double figures in the game. Andrew Funk (20), Seth Lundy (17), Camren Wynter (15), and Jalen Pickett (12) all reached double digits in the win.
- Lundy’s 17-point, 10-rebound double-double is the first double-double for Penn State in the Big Ten Tournament since John Harrar scored 15 points and grabbed 12 boards against Purdue on March 11, 2022.