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Pickett scores 41, Penn State beats Illini to end 4-game skid

Penn State's Jalen Pickett (22) drives the basket on Illinois' Coleman Hawkins (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, in State College, Pa.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (AP) — Jalen Pickett scored a season-high 41 points, the first Penn State player with 40-plus points since 1961, and the Nittany Lions beat Illinois 93-81 on Tuesday night to end a four-game losing streak.

It was the most points scored by a Penn State player in Big Ten play and the sixth 40-point game in program history.

Pickett was 10-of-12 shooting with four 3-pointers in the first half, including reaching 2,000 career points on a 3 with 2:54 left. He finished 15 of 20 overall with five 3-pointers and had eight assists. He scored 46 points with Siena in a triple-overtime game against Quinnipiac on Feb. 17, 2019.

Seth Lundy had 11 points in the first half, hitting 4 of 5 shots with three 3s and finished with 15 points for Penn State (15-11, 6-9 Big Ten), which shot 58% overall and was 12 of 28 from distance. Kanye Clary added 12 points and Kanye Clary had 10.

Penn State shot 62.5% (20 of 32) from the floor and hit 10 of 18 from long range in the first half for a 53-40 lead. Illinois cut the deficit to 54-47 with 18:01 left but didn’t get closer.

Terrence Shannon Jr. scored 20 points to lead five in double figures for Illinois (17-8, 8-6), which lost both games in the season series with Penn State.

Illinois plays at No. 14 Indiana on Saturday while Penn State travels to Minnesota.

Picture of Associated Press

Associated Press

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