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Jan. 10, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.; Jan. 10, 2011 - After a thrilling 66-62 victory over No. 18 Michigan State on Saturday, Penn State (9-6; 2-2 Big Ten) will continue a program-record run of five-straight games vs. ranked foes Tuesday night in the Bryce Jordan Center when the Nittany Lions take on No. 16-ranked Illinois (13-3; 3-0 Big Ten) in a 9:00 p.m. tip at the Bryce Jordan Center. It will mark the third ranked foe for the Lions in a scheduled that is currently ranked the 16th hardest in the nation in the RPI.
It is "THON Night" at the Jordan Center with all single-game student ticket sales proceeds being donated to Penn State Dance Marathon and its effort to fight pediatric cancer. The game can be seen live on the Big Ten Network and heard live on the Penn State Sports Network, 1450 AM locally, and on Sirius channel 122 and XM radio channel 143.
Penn State got a complete team effort in downing the Spartans on Saturday as all four senior starters (Talor Battle, Jeff Brooks, David Jackson and Andrew Jones) scored in double-figures in the same game for just the second time in their careers. Brooks posted his second-straight double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Lions and continue a stellar senior campaign in which he has posted 12 double-digit outings.
Battle enters Tuesday needing just seven minutes to surpass Joe Crispin (1998-2001) as the all-time leader in minutes played in a Nittany Lion uniform. Battle leads the Big Ten in minutes per game (36.8) and has logged 4,057 minutes in a Penn State uniform on his career. The Big Ten scoring leader at 20.5 ppg, Battle is closing fast on becoming just the 22nd player in Big Ten history to record 2,000 career points. He bring 1,834 into Tuesday and is on pace to become Penn State's all-time career scoring leader.
Penn State and Illinois have split the last 10 meetings between the two schools with seven of those games decided by five points or less, including a 54-53 Illinois win last year in Champaign. Penn State has beaten a ranked Illinois team three times under coach Ed DeChellis and twice in the last three seasons. Penn State beat then No. 23-ranked Illinois 64-63 in the Jordan Center at the end of the 2009 season on a last second Talor Battle lay-up in traffic.
The Illini lead the Big Ten shooting a sizzling 64.7 percent in conference games to go 3-0 in the Big Ten. The Illini rank second in the Big Ten scoring 77 points per game and lead the conference hitting 43 percent from three as they own a 13-3 record. The Illini are coming of an 88-63 dismantling of Northwestern last Thursday in which they shot 81.8 percent in the first half and 70.5 percent for the game. The Illini are lead by senior Demetri McCamey's 16.2 ppg and 7.5 apg. DJ Richardson (11.5) and Mike Davis (11.2) also average double-digits.
The Illini have won the last two meetings, lead the series 23-11 and are 10-5 in State College. Illinois won both meetings last year, including a 77-67 victory in State College in which Battle scored 20 points.
Nittany Lion Basketball single-game tickets can be purchased by calling the ticket office at 814-865-5555, visiting GoPSUsports.com or through Ticketmaster. Single-game tickets are $18 for the lower bowl and $15 for upper level tickets for adults. Youth tickets (18 and under) are $7 for the lower bowl and $5 for upper level seating, while Penn State student tickets (University Park or branch campus) are $5 for each of the 19 home contests.
For all the latest information, notes, pictures and related links on Penn State basketball follow Assistant Athletic Communications Director Brian Siegrist on Twitter (@PSUSTRETCH) and check GoPSUsports.com. The Nittany Lions are also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pennstatebasketball.