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Takeaways: Penn State Takes Down No. 12 Illinois in Thriller at Rec Hall

Penn State used an 8-0 run in the final 35 seconds to clip No. 12 Illinois 90-89 Wednesday night in its return to Rec Hall.

PSU held Illinois without a field goal for the final 2:30 to claw to coach Mike Rhoades‘ biggest win at Penn State.

Nick Kern paced PSU with 22 points, 18 of which came in the second half. Penn State also got 13 a piece from Qudus Wahab and Zach Hicks.


Ace Baldwin’s double-double paced PSU on the evening. He scored 10 while dishing out 12 assists while not stepping off the court.

While his points all game in the first half and helped PSU to a nine-point lead early, his steady presence and dishing the rock helped propel the team in the second half.

PSU need a veteran like Baldwin to step up in big moments and he did just that against Illinois.


Although Kern and Baldwin worked their magic in the scoring and assist columns, it was Jaleel Brown who had the game’s most significant impact as the seconds wound down.

Brown scored all 11 of his points in the second half, but his three steals put PSU in position to win the game late. His steal with 30 seconds left set up Puff Johnson with a layup to get PSU within two.

From there, Illinois’ Coleman Hawkins missed a two throws before fouling Hicks who drained all three of his free throws to tie the game and then ultimately win it.


Enough said.

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