Illini Break Steals Record in Defeat at Penn State
Feb. 20, 2013
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Illinois fell behind early and could never make a dent in the deficit as No. 7 Penn State pulled away with a 95-62 win at the Bryce Jordan Center on Wednesday, the Illini's second game in three days. During the game, the Orange and Blue broke the school record for steals in a single-season by recording their 321st steal in only 25 games (12.8 per game). Illinois falls to 15-10 overall, 8-5 in the Big Ten, while PSU improves to 22-3, 12-1.
"I just want to give Penn State a lot of credit," Illinois head coach Matt Bollant said. "Wow, were they good tonight. They came out and punched us in the mouth, and we really didn't respond. They kept punching us and they played great throughout. You saw flashes on tape of what they can do and today it felt like they put it all together and played a complete game.
"I think some of the foul trouble made us lose our aggressiveness (in the first half). And I think we were a little shocked at how good they were. Instead of stepping up and fighting against it, we pulled back a little bit. But give them credit for that."
Adrienne Godbold led the Illini with 17 points and added a career high-tying seven steals. Karisma Penn had 17 points and five rebounds in 26 minutes before fouling out. Ivory Crawford added 10 points in 24 minutes before fouling out.
Penn State shot 61.1 percent from the floor (33-of-54) for the game, including 6-of-9 from three-point range while Illinois managed just 33 percent (22-of-66) and 23.5 percent (4-of-17) from distance. The Lions made 23-of-32 (71.9 percent) free throws compared to 14-of-20 (70 percent) by the Illini.
With Penn State ahead 13-12 in the early going, the Lions caught fire from the field, making six of their next seven shots and 6-of-8 free throws to go on a 19-3 spurt and grab a 32-15 lead at the 8:10 mark. Illinois scored five of the next seven points, but PSU regained the momentum and cruised into the intermission with a 54-33 lead. It was the most points Illinois has allowed in a first half and the largest halftime deficit the Illini have faced this season.
In the second half, the Illini could never fully grab the momentum. Each time Illinois looked to make a run, a shot would rim out and PSU took it the other way for a bucket. Trailing 71-47 at the under-12 minute media timeout, the Illini scored six straight points before PSU point guard Dara Taylor knifed through the defense and laid it in to make the score 73-53.
Illinois scored 11 of the 17 points between the under-12 and under-eight media timeouts to pull within 77-58 at the 7:28 mark. But Penn State scored 14 of the next 18 points to extend the lead to 91-62 with 3:43 left in the game.
The Illini return to action on Saturday when they host Indiana at 2 p.m. at the Assembly Hall. The Hoosiers knocked off No. 22 Purdue 62-61 on Wednesday.