January 11, 2011: Illinois Fighting Illini (13-3, 3-0) vs. Penn State Nittany Lions (9-6, 2-2)

Illinois-Penn State Full-Court Vision: Live Blogging, Commentary & Analysis

Illinois falls to Penn State, 57-55.

Illinois’ conference title hopes took a serious blow with this loss, which creates numerous questions about the Illini as a team.

Turnovers and rebounding were the differences in tonight’s game. Penn State had 5 more steals and 6 fewer turnovers than Illinois, to go with 6 more offensive rebounds, including the game winning putback by Andrew Jones with 1 second left.

Penn State was able to make Illinois play at its tempo, and the result was the school’s first ever back-to-back wins against ranked teams.

Much more on this one tomorrow.

Until then.

Final Score: Penn State 57, Illinois 55.

End Of Game

  • Inbound pass tipped, clock runs out.
  • Penn State wins 57-55.
  • The students storm the court for the second consecutive game.

Out of Time Out

  • Bill Cole ties the game with under 20 seconds.
  • Battle misses a layup, but no Illini player tried to rebound. Jones slams the miss in.
  • Penn State up 2 with one second remaining.

It looks over for Illinois. The Illini had a chance for overtime with Cole’s made layup, but the whole team collapsed on Battle, failing to block out.

Out of Time Out

  • Illinois does not score on the play. Illinois is down 2 with under two minutes remaining.
  • Both teams are in the bonus, and both teams are shooting well from the free throw line.
  • Illinois has another turnover. I will never understand why the offense will leave Tisdale with the ball at the top of the key while everyone else just stands around. Weber’s face says it all: his team is in trouble.
  • Time out.

Just a side note, Wisconsin lost to the Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing earlier today. The Illini will face the Badgers on the road after this game, and if Illinois is coming off a road loss, the team could be in trouble.

Out of Time Out

  • Illinois is rushing the offense again. The Illini are clearly uncomfortable being down this late in the game on the road.
  • Time out.

After two poor offensive possessions, Weber calls a time out to draw up a play and calm his team down.

Out of Time Out

  • Battle gets a breather on the bench coming out of the time out. If Illinois is going to make a move, this is it’s chance.
  • McCamey makes tough layup.
  • Time out.

As soon as Battle sat down, McCamey made a tough layup and Penn State called a time out to put him right back in.

Out of Time Out

  • Jones makes both free throws.
  • Penn State is 12/12 from the charity stripe.
  • Davis makes dunk.
  • Battle draws shooting foul.
  • Battle makes both free throws.
  • Bill Cole makes 3 pointer to tie the game.
  • Game tied at 48 all with just over 6 minutes remaining.
  • Brooks makes layup.
  • Richardson fouled on 3 point attempt.
  • Richardson makes all three free throws.
  • Jones makes jumper.
  • Battle makes 3 point jumper with the defense all over him.
  • Time out.

Taylor Battle is killing Illinois. He continues to make huge shots with the defense draped all over him. He has almost half of his teams points, and shows no signs of slowing. He also has no fouls, so Illinois can not hope to get him in foul trouble this late. Illinois is down by 4 with 4:25 remaining, and needs to play without any mistakes if it wants a chance to win.

Out of Time Out

  • Battle draws shooting foul.
  • Battle makes both free throws.
  • Richmond makes two point tip in and draws foul.
  • Richmond makes free throw.
  • Illinois has missed 3 easy shots and the misses are causing the Illini to start to rush the offense again. Not a good sign.
  • Tisdale shooting foul on Jones.
  • Time out.

Out of Time Out

  • McCamey makes 3 point jumper.
  • Penn State has 9 fast break points. Illinois has none.
  • Shooting foul on Tisdale.
  • Brooks makes both free throws.
  • Davis makes short jumper.
  • McCamey tries to make another acrobatic pass, the result, a turnover.
  • Battle makes 3 point jumper.
  • Tisdale draws a hard shooting foul.
  • Tisdale makes both free throws.
  • Tisdale has a double-double.
  • Tisdale makes a 3 point jumper to give Illinois the lead again.
  • Battle makes a last second three from almost half court. Illinois played great defense, but Battle is lighting the Illini up from downtown.
  • Time out.

Just when Illinois grabbed all the momentum from a key Tisdale 3 pointer, Taylor Battle grabs it all back with a ridiculous buzzer-beating 3 from the half court decal. This game is looking like it is going to whoever has the ball last.

Start of the Second Half

  • Illinois looks better on defense to start the half.
  • Paul commits shooting foul on Jackson.
  • Jackson makes both free throws.
  • Penn State is back to the full court pressure.
  • Paul makes a 3 point jumper.
  • The Illini lead 28-27, the first lead of the night for Illinois.
  • Richardson has a layup blocked. It seems like Richardson has had many of his layups blocked this season, not sure why, but it is something that he should work on.
  • Tisdale draws shooting foul.
  • Tisdale makes both free throws.
  • Billy Oliver makes a 3 pointer. The announcers called him a 3rd year freshman, not sure how that works.
  • Battle steals ball and makes fast break lay in.
  • Battle makes 3 pointer.
  • Time out.

The Illini lead did not last long. Penn State made some big 3 pointers, continues to create turnovers and is back to a 5- point lead.

Thoughts at the Half

  • After trailing by 12 early in the half, Illinois seemed to snap out of its funk and turn its game back on. This half is a great example of the Illinois team, which does not deal well with full court, heavy pressure and can be too show-boaty for their own good, but when they play smart and don’t rush things, they have the potential to be very special.
  • Another low scoring half for Illinois. Illinois and Penn State, despite their faster tempo, seem to often have lower scoring games. Illinois needs to continue doing what it did in the last four minutes of the game. A low scoring game favors Penn State. The Lions are not a high scoring team, but if Illinois lets them hang around they are very dangerous.
  • One positive for the Illini: it does not have to worry about Penn State’s “6th man”. The arena where the teams are playing is at most one-third full. Penn State is clearly a football school, and the lack of students suggests that classes may not have started yet for the Lions.
  • Here are the team stats at the half.

- Score: Illinois 25, Penn State 25

-Rebounds: Penn State 19 (7 offensive), Illinois 16 (2 offensive)

- Field Goal Percentages: Illinois 43.5% (42.9% from 3), Penn State 30.0% (21.4% from 3)

- Steals: Penn State 6, Illinois 2

- Turnovers: Illinois 9, Penn State 4

Out of Time Out

  • Davis makes short jumper.
  • End of half, Illinois ended on a 12-0 run to tie the game again.

Out of Time Out

  • Brandon Paul makes dunk off assist from McCamey.
  • Tisdale makes jumper with his foot on the 3 point line, ruled a 2.
  • Announcers mention Mikel Leshoure’s decision to enter the NFL draft. He will certainly be missed, but it is the right decision.
  • Illinois picks up the defense for a series and forces a shot clock violation. Hopefully the Illini see that they can stop Penn State if they play hard and smart.
  • Davis makes short jumper.
  • Tisdale makes lay-in.
  • Another great defensive series from Illinois, but McCamey turns the ball over again on a charge.
  • Illinois is on an 8-0 run since they started playing good defense. This is definitely something for Weber to talk about at the half.
  • Paul makes layup and draws foul.
  • Paul misses the free throw.
  • Time out Penn State.

Illinois has pulled to within two after being down as much as 12 in the first half. If Illinois can tie or at least keep the Penn State lead from growing, it should feel good heading into the locker room.

Out of Time Out

  • Battle makes both free throws.
  • Penn State picks up full court defense, much like UIC, Missouri, and Iowa, all teams that hurt Illinois.
  • Battle steals pass from Tyler Griffey and dunks on the fast break.
  • Penn State already has seven offensive rebounds.
  • Brooks makes 3 point jumper.
  • Illinois calls timeout.

Illinois seemed to regress coming out of the timeout. Penn State is on a 7-0 run and the Illini simply look lost.

Out of Time Out

  • Cole makes 3 point jumper from McCamey pass.
  • Jackson makes 3 point shot off pass from Battle.
  • McCamey draws shooting foul, makes both free throws.
  • McCamey makes 3 point jumper.
  • Interesting fact from the announcers: Illinois is the third best 3 point shooting team in the nation.
  • Jackson makes layup.
  • Battle draws shooting foul.
  • Under 8 minute time out.

Illinois has found its shot again, but the Illini are still unable to stop the Nittany Lions. Penn State is clearly the team that will benefit if this frantic pace continues. Illinois needs to slow the game down and set a more comfortable tempo.

Out of Time Out

  • Jones makes layup.
  • Tisdale makes three point shot.
  • Tisdale commits shooting foul on Frazier, who makes both free throws.
  • Under 12 timeout

Illinois is in a lot of trouble in this one. Penn State came out very confident after the Michigan State win and Illinois seems unsure of what to do now that its jump shots are not automatically falling. Weber needs to get his players to calm down and take better shots.

Game Start

  • Illinois starts Demetri McCamey, D.J. Richardson, Bill Cole, Mike Davis and Mike Tisdale.
  • Penn State starts Taylor Battle, Andrew Jones, David Jackson, Jeff Brooks, and Tim Frazier.
  • Illinois wins the tip off.
  • McCamey turns ball over on bad ally-oop attempt.
  • Taylor Battle makes jump shot.
  • Mike Tisdale turns ball over, stolen by Andrew Jones.
  • Brooks misses 3-point attempt.
  • Tisdale makes dunk.
  • Jones makes easy layup.
  • Davis misses jumper.
  • Battle pushes ball down the court, passes to Jones, back to Battle who makes a three.
  • Jones makes dunk off pass from Battle.
  • Illinois timeout.
  • Illinois is in trouble early. The Illini are playing just like they did in the UIC loss. Poor shooting and unwilling to run the offense, while committing numerous turnovers.

Tags: Bill Cole Brandon Paul Bruce Weber Crandall Head D.J. Richardson Demetri McCamey Illini Illini Basketball Illinois Illinois Basketball Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball Jereme Richmond Jerrance Howard Joseph Bertrand Meyers Leonard Mike Davis Mike Tisdale Tyler Griffey U-of-I Basketball University Of Illinois

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