Chicago

Penn State advances with third win over Illini this season

Chicago
Getty

CHICAGO (AP) -- Andrew Funk hit five of his six 3-pointers and scored 17 of his 20 points in the second half as Penn State defeated Illinois 79-76 in the second round of the Big Ten Tournament on Thursday.

Camren Wynter scored 18 points and Seth Lundy had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the 10th-seeded Nittany Lions (20-12), who will take on second-seeded Northwestern in Friday's quarterfinals.

Jalen Pickett, who came in averaging 18 points per game and scored a combined 61 points in two regular-season wins over the seventh-seeded Fighting Illini, had 12 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 19 points, Coleman Hawkins 17 and Dain Dainja 13 for Illinois (20-12).

Trailing by one with eight minutes remaining, Penn State went on a 14-3 run with six points each from Funk and Pickett to lead by 12 with just under two minutes left. The Lions went 7 of 10 at the line from there to hold off the Illini, who made a 3-pointer as time ran out.

Lundy and Wynter combined for 21 points as Penn State built a 27-17 lead with eight minutes left in the first half. But the Nittany Lions finished the half with four turnovers and shooting 2 of 11. Hawkins scored six points in a 13-4 half-ending run to narrow the gap to 31-30.

Penn State has won six of its last seven games.