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.