The Commercial-News, Danville, IL


February 21, 2013

Illini slide past Lions

CHAMPAIGN —  Sometimes a team does not bring its best game, but things still seem to work out no matter how ugly it may look on the surface.

The Fighting Illini survived a sluggish start, and hung on to win their fifth straight game, defeating the Penn State Nittany Lions 64-59 at the Assembly Hall in Champaign. The Illini fell behind early 11-2, as the Nittany Lions came out playing with nothing to lose.

The Illini made a huge run midway through the first half, and maintained that advantage, taking a 29-20 lead into the halftime locker room.

The second half started much like the first one did, with Penn State cutting into the Illini lead, and pulling to within a single point on a couple of occasions. That margin, however, would be as close as the Nittany Lions would get, as they had quite a difficult time in shaking the Nittany Lions, who are the bottom dwellers of the conference.

“I was really proud of our guys tonight for grinding one out, and several people stepped up and made big plays toward the end of the game,” Illini coach John Groce said.

D. J. Richardson led the Illini in scoring with 18 points, while Brandon Paul added 16.

The Illini were outrebounded by a margin of 34-25, and only could muster six offensive rebounds. Sam McLaurin, who continues to play well on the glass, had half of those offensive boards, and finished with five rebounds to go with six points.

Groce was very accommodating of Penn State and how they played.

“They were physical and played with a lot of passion, and just wouldn’t go away,” Groce said. “I give them a lot of credit, and they played right up until the final horn.”

Fouls were at a premium in the game, as there were 52 called, just nine short of the Assembly Hall record, which has stood since 1977. The Illini made 23-of-36 free throw attempts, and missed several down the stretch to keep the Nittany Lions in the ballgame.

“For a few possessions there, it seemed like there was a foul on ever y play, which really disputed the rhythm of the game,” McLaurin said.

“There were entirely too many fouls called, and this is the third game in a row that the opponent has shot over 30 free throws in a game,” Penn State coach Patrick Chambers said.

“I think I am a much better free throw shooter than what I showed tonight,” said Brandon Paul.

Paul made only 3 of his 8 attempts.

The Illini did an adequate job of taking care of the basketball, committing 11 turnovers, compared to 16 for Penn State.

With the win, the Fighting Illini improve to 20-8 overall and pull even in the Big Ten standings at 7-7.

The Illini moved into sole possession of sixth place in the league with a couple of tough road games remaining.

Penn State, who falls to 8-18 overall and remains winless in the Big Ten at 0-14, was led in scoring by Jermaine Marshall, who had a game-high 20 points. Sasa Borovnjak added 17 points, while D. J. Newbill chipped in 12 for the Nittany Lions, who shot 44 percent from the field, but only made 9 of 16 free throw attempts.

The Illini shot just under 40 percent for the game and struggled from beyond the arc as well, making 7 of 24 three point attempts.

Up next for the Illini, a tough road contest on Sunday afternoon, when they travel to Ann Arbor, Mich. to battle the Michigan Wolverines at Crisler Arena. The Wolverines (22-4, 9-4) are in sole possession of fourth place in the Big Ten, and are undefeated at home this season.

Game time on Sunday afternoon with Michigan is set to tip off at noon central time, and will be televised on ESPN. The game can also be heard on WDAN-AM 1490 and WDNL-102.1, as well as statewide on the Illini Sports Network.

Text Only
  • SPT- CN0725 - Dustbowl photo 2 Stars advance to boys final DANVILLE — The 42nd Annual Dustbowl action continued Thursday at David S. Palmer Arena with the High School Boys basketball division in full swing as four games were played and all eight teams participated. In game one of the winner’s bracket of sem

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0725 - Atwood photo Baseball community to honor Atwood DANVILLE — Whether it was working on the field or running a tournament, there wasn’t anything that Frank Atwood wouldn’t do for the game of baseball.His love for the game created numerous opportunities for the youth of the Danville area as Atwood ser

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dans get a split of doubleheader with Cavemen HANNIBAL, Mo. — The Danville Dans won the first game of a doubleheader with the Hannibal Cavemen 3-1 on Thursday before losing the second game 5-3 to get a split.In the first game, Corbin Olmstead pitched seven innings with eight strikeouts to get th

    July 25, 2014

  • Danville Post 210 Speakers fall to Rantoul CHARLESTON — Playing five games in five days finally took its toll on the Danville Post 210 Speakers.Rantoul’s Tanner McLain delivered a game-winning, two-out single to left to give his team a 6-5 victory over Danville in an elimination game of the F

    July 24, 2014

  • Juniors continue to play at Danville Tennis Open DANVILLE — The juniors were still on the court in the Greater Danville Tennis Open on Wednesday as three division titles were given out.Rachael Lewis won the girls 18 and under singles title with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Lauren Ellis, while the team of Er

    July 24, 2014

  • SPT- CN0723- Dans photo 2 Thurston gets first win DANVILLE — Getting those Ws is the goal of every pitcher.Danville’s Chase Thurston has been seeking his first collegiate victory all year. The former Danville High standout finally got it on Tuesday night when the Danville Dans defeated the Springfie

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT- CN0723 - Dustbowl photo 1 Shooting Stars sprint past MB Squad DANVILLE —Tuesday’s action from the Dustbowl at the David S. Palmer Arena featured two games in the Girls High School Division with two local teams — MB Squad and Shooting Stars — squaring off in round-robin play to advance to Sunday’s championship.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • Pitching boosts Speakers CHARLESTON — The Danville Post 210 Speakers’ pitching is coming along at the right time.With strong performances from Austin Millholland and Dalton Strawser, the Speakers defeated Piatt County 5-1 to move on in the Fourth Division Tournament.“The sto

    July 23, 2014

  • SPT - CN0722 - Post 210 Baseball photo 1 Speakers stay alive TILTON — Danville Post 210 baseball got their revenge Sunday afternoon and did it in style. After losing to Shelby County in the Fourth Division Tournament opener on Saturday, Danville had to win two games on Sunday if they wanted to advance and keep

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPT - CN0722 - VCS photo Youth gets served at VCS Fan Appreciation Night OAKWOOD — The Vermilion County Speedway Fan Appreciation Night was more a spotlight for the youth on and off the track.While kids in the stands had bike races and decided the order for racers in certain feature races, there was a bunch of kids going

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

NJCAA Tourney Photos 2014

Check out the action at the NJCAA Division II National Men's Basketball Tournament March 18-22 at DACC. Buy photos from the Commercial-News here:

Must Read
AP Video
Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase
NDN Video
What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad