Cold first half dooms Illini
Shep Garner scored 18 points, Payton Banks added 17 and Penn State beat visiting Illinois 71- 67 on Saturday.
The Illini endured two scoreless stretches in the first 20 minutes to trail 45- 25 at halftime.
“I didn’t like our disposition at all in the first half,” Illinois coach John Groce said. “I thought it was unacceptable. Just didn’t think we were really good. We could be here for 30 minutes picking on a variety of areas in the first half.”
Malcolm Hill led Illinois ( 13- 9, 3- 6 Big Ten) with 19 points, and Jalen Coleman- Lands added 13. Coleman- Lands cut the lead to 6562 with a three- pointer with 1: 58 left before Garner hit four free throws in the final 38 seconds to keep it out of reach.
Tony Carr and Mike Watkins chipped in 13 and 10 points, respectively, and Watkins pulled down nine rebounds for the Nittany Lions ( 12- 10, 4- 5), who held on after leading by 20 at halftime. The win snapped a three- game skid for Penn State.
Loyola 81, Indiana State 66
Milton Doyle scored 20 points, Clayton Custer added 15 and the hot- shooting Ramblers rolled to a wire- to- wire win.
Leading 15- 10 midway through the first half, the visiting Ramblers used a 14- 3 run over the next six minutes to take a 29- 13 lead and effectively put the game out of reach. Loyola led 42- 24 at the half and maintained a double- digit lead the rest of the way.
The Ramblers ( 16- 7, 6- 4 Missouri Valley) were 10- for- 16 from the three- point line, including 7- for9 in the second half. They finished 24- for- 46 ( 52.2 percent) overall.
Brenton Scott and Everett Clemons each scored 12 points for Indiana State ( 7- 15, 1- 9), which has lost four straight and nine of 10.
NIU 74, Toledo 72
Marin Maric scored 15 points, Laytwan Porter hit a clutch three- pointer and Aaric Armstead blocked Toledo’s final shot in a meeting of the top two Mid- American Conference West Division teams.
Five players reached double figures for the visiting Huskies ( 13- 8, 5- 3 MAC).
The Rockets ( 11- 10, 4- 4) trailed 70- 61 with 2: 46 remaining. But they closed the gap late as Jaelen Sanford made it 73- 72. Each team missed free throws in the last five seconds. Armstead blocked a Williams three- point shot to end the game.
Georgia Tech 62, Notre Dame 60
Josh Okogie made a fast- break layup as time expired, Tadric Jackson had a career- high 25 points and the host Yellow Jackets ( 13- 8, 5- 4 Atlantic Coast Conference) earned another surprising victory over a ranked opponent.
V. J. Beachem scored 23 points for the No. 14 Fighting Irish ( 175, 6- 3), and Bonzie Colson had 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Kansas 79, Kentucky 73
Frank Mason III scored 21 points, Josh Jackson had 20 points and a pair of big three- pointers and the No. 2 Jayhawks rallied in the SEC- Big 12 Challenge.
Malik Monk and Derek Willis each had 18 points for the No. 2 Wildcats ( 17- 4), who dropped their second straight.
Wisconsin 61, Rutgers 54
Ethan Happ scored seven of his career- high 32 points in overtime for the No. 15 Badgers ( 18- 3, 7- 1 Big Ten) at Madison Square Garden.
Corey Sanders had 15 points for the Scarlet Knights ( 12- 10, 1- 8), who lost for the ninth time in 10 games.