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Malcolm Hill Delivers Nail-Biting Illinois Win Over Penn State

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Illinois forward Malcolm Hill scored 27 points Saturday, including two on a layup with four seconds left in the game, to deliver a 60-58 win over Penn State.

Hill was mobbed at midcourt by teammates when Penn State's last, desperate attempt to tie fell short.

The win was relief for an Illini team (14-8, 4-5) already depleted by injury that got more bad news just before game time. Coach John Groce suspended two of those injured players, Rayvonte Rice and Aaron Cosby, indefinitely for unspecified violations of team rules.

Kendrick Nunn added 10 points for Illinois. Leron Black had a game-high seven rebounds.

D.J. Newbill led Penn State (14-8, 2-7) with 20 points. Shep Garner added 14.

Penn State played without starting forward Brandon Taylor for the second straight game. He has a knee injury.

Just before Hill's game-winning shot, it looked like the Nittany Lions might win the kind of close game it's often lost this season.

Illini center Nnanna Egwu tied the game at 58-58 with a short turnaround jumper with 57 seconds left. Penn State headed the other way, but the officials called Devin Foster for an offensive foul on the perimeter, and with 33 seconds left the ball went to the Illini.

Penn State coach Pat Chambers quickly went to one of the officials to voice his displeasure.

"Let the kids decide the game!" he said.

Hill's drive did just that, ending what had been a sloppy, back-and-forth game.

The biggest lead of the afternoon was eight, in the first five minutes for Illinois.

Penn State had 19 turnovers, and Illinois — if you take away its 8-of-15 3-point shooting — shot just 31.6 percent from the field.


Penn State: The 10 points from center Julian Moore was a pleasant surprise for the Nittany Lions as they looked for scoring from someone other than Newbill and Garner. Moore averages 1.1 points a game.

Illinois: Rice and Cosby were both with the Illini but not dressed for the game. Groce had said as recently as Thursday that the two might return from injury as soon as the Penn State game. Rice has been out since early January with a broken hand. Cosby tore a retina on Jan. 18 against Indiana and had surgery to repair it. Their absences combined with starting point guard Tracy Abrams' knee injury — he's out for the season — have limited Illinois to seven or eight players. The squad is so thin it added manager Ryan Schmidt to the roster last week.


Penn State: The Nittany Lions will play their second straight on the road, traveling to Maryland on Wednesday.

Illinois: Illinois will stay at home to host Rutgers on Tuesday.

(© 2015 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.)

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