Shep Garner’s 22 leads Penn State over Illinois 86-79 in 2OT
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) _ Shep Garner scored 22 points and Penn State hung on through two overtime periods to beat Illinois 86-79 on Sunday.
Brandon Taylor added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Nittany Lions (16-15, 7-11 Big Ten), who secured a first-round bye in the Big Ten tournament for the first time in program history. The win snapped a two-game losing streak and marked Penn State’s most conference wins under head coach Patrick Chambers.
Josh Reaves added 13 points and Donovon Jack chipped in 10 for Penn State.
Malcolm Hill scored 24 of his 39 points in the second half and added 13 rebounds for the Fighting Illini (13-18, 5-13), who faced a 10-point deficit with just over 12 minutes to play. Illinois lost its second game in a row and will play in the opening round of the conference tournament on Wednesday.
Khalid Lewis added 10 points for the Illini who outscored Penn State 22-12 over the final 8:49 of regulation. But Penn State mounted a 19-9 run that included 9-of-10 shooting from the line to close out the game.