Champaign, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Rayvonte Rice scored 17 points and added seven rebounds for Illinois as the Fighting Illini took down the Penn State Nittany Lions, 75-55, in a Big Ten tilt at the State Farm Center.
Tracy Abrams contributed 12 points, six rebounds and five assists for Illinois (13-2, 2-0 Big Ten) which has won four straight. Joseph Bertrand and Jon Ekey each had 11 points as well as seven and eight rebounds, respectively.
John Johnson scored a game-high 18 points, netting 4-of-6 shots from the beyond the arc before fouling out for Penn State (9-6, 0-2). Tim Frazier chipped in 10 points, but hit just 3-of-11 from the floor. The Nittany Lions have lost three of their last four.
Neither team had much success in the first half. Illinois shot at a 29.6 percent clip and Penn State was a step behind, netting 28.6 percent. The Illini took a 28-26 lead into halftime.
After intermission Illinois only improved to 41.4 percent shooting, but it also nailed 20-of-22 from the free-throw line to pull away for the win. Penn State had only nine field goals in the final 20 minutes.
Illinois enjoyed a 44-33 edge on the boards. Penn State blocked seven shots.