ILLINI HOOPS (17-5, 8-3) at Penn State (9-13, 3-8)

<p>Illinois leads the all-time series 15-6 over Penn State, and the Illini enjoy a 6-3 advantage in games played at University Park. In the most recent meeting between the two teams, Illinois defeated Penn State 80-37 in Champaign on Jan. 21. Illinois has won seven of the last eight games, with the last Nittany Lion win coming in 2001 at Penn State.

Illinois ranks first in the Big Ten in scoring at 73.8 points per game, after leading the league in scoring each of the last three seasons ... The Illini have six players averaging between 7.7 and 14 points per game, including all five starters in double figures ... The Illini have had at least five players score in double figures five times this season ... Illinois players rank 10th (Williams), 16th (Powell), 19th (Brown), 26th (Augustine) and 29th (Head) in the Big Ten in scoring, making Illinois the only conference school to have five among the Top 30 scorers ... Seven different players have led the Illini in scoring this season and eight different players have led the team in rebounding.

In its last six victories, Illinois has played its best defense of the season. The Illini held Penn State to 21 percent shooting on Jan. 21, marking the lowest field goal percentage in Assembly Hall history. Illinois held the Nittany Lions to just 13 field goals and a season-low tying 37 points. In a victory over Michigan on Jan. 31, The Illini held Michigan to a season-low field goal percentage of 35.3 percent and season-low 52 points. Illinois took that defensive tenacity on the road in a win at Indiana on Feb. 3. The Illini held the Hoosiers to 31.3 percent shooting on the evening. Indiana made just four baskets in the second half and did not score a field goal the final 9:53 of the game. Illinois surged past Minnesota on Feb. 8 by again cranking up the "D". The Illini held the Gophers to just one field goal over a span of 11:38 during the second half while turning a one-point deficit into a 14-point lead. The Illini most recently defeated Michigan State by 24 points, marking the worst loss of the season for the Spartans. MSU entered the game shooting 55 percent from the field in Big Ten play, but managed just 42 percent shooting against the Illini. Illinois held the Spartans without a field goal for a stretch of 8:20 spanning the end of the first half and beginning of the second half in which the Illini went on a 16-2 run to open up a 19-point advantage. In the win over Wisconsin Feb. 18, the Illini held the Badgers with no field goals from the 5:32 mark to 1:14 as they extended their lead from one to nine.

Story courtesy of the University of Illinois SID office

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