Illinois holds on for 64-59 win over Penn State

DAVID MERCER (AP Sports Writer)
The Associated PressFebruary 22, 2013
Illinois holds on for 64-59 win over Penn State
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Penn State's Ross Travis (43) pressures Illinois' Tracy Abrams (13) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Robert K. O'Daniell)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- D.J. Richardson started slow Thursday but finished with 18 points and hit a pair of key free throws late in Illinois' ugly 64-59 win over Penn State.

The win was the fifth straight for Illinois (20-8, 7-7 Big Ten). But facing a team that hadn't won since late December, it didn't come easy.

Jermaine Marshall's 3-pointer brought Penn State within 62-59 with 5 seconds left. Richardson then sank a pair of free throws that sealed the win.

Illinois led 29-20 at the end of a brutal first half.

The Illini's Brandon Paul entered the game a point shy of 1,500 in his career. It took him almost 17 minutes to get it. He finished with 16.

Penn State (8-18, 0-14) has lost 14 straight. The Nittany Lions committed 31 fouls and sent the Illini to the line 36 times. They made 23.

Jermaine Marshall led Penn State with 20 points.