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Nittany Lions Stun #12 Illinois in Epic Rec Hall Comeback

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Courtesy of GoPSU Athletics 

Down seven with under 40 seconds to play, Penn State rallies for ranked win

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Penn State men’s basketball team electrified a sold-out Rec Hall crowd as the Nittany Lions rallied back from a double-digit deficit, including a seven-point deficit in the final 30 seconds, to stun #12 Illinois, 90-89, in Penn State’s Return to Rec game.

The Nittany Lions trailed by 14 with 15:59 to play, by 10 with 2:30 to play and by seven with under 40 seconds to play. Jameel Brown hit a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left, which was followed by a Brown steal and Puff Johnson layup to put the score at 89-87 Illinois. The Illini missed two free throws on their following possession before Zach Hicks was fouled shooting a 3-pointer with three seconds left. Hicks made all three of his free throws to give the Nittany Lions the 90-89 edge and the Penn State defense came up with a stop in the final second as the Nittany Lions earned their second top-15 win of the season.

Nick Kern Jr. led Penn State with a career-best 22 points, 18 of which came in the second half. Hicks finished with 13 points and a team-best eight rebounds. Qudus Wahab had 13 points and four rebounds, while Brown tallied 11 points and three steals. Ace Baldwin Jr. registered a double-double with 10 points and 12 assists.

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