(18) Illinois 75

(14-3, 4-2 Big Ten)

Penn State 63

(5-11, 0-5 Big Ten)

    12:15 PM ET, January 25, 2003

    Bryce Jordan Center, University Park, Pennsylvania

    1 2 T
    #18ILL 38 3775
    PSU 29 3463

    Augustine helps Illinois hold off Penn State

    STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) -- Brian Cook, the Big Ten's leading scorer, didn't get to play much for (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today, No. 18 AP) Illinois on Saturday.

    Turns out, the Illini didn't need him.

    James Augustine had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Nick Smith added 10 points to lead Illinois to a 75-63 victory over Penn State.

    "James had a heck of a game,'' Illinois coach Bill Self said. "James was great.''

    The Illini (14-3, 4-2 Big Ten) had lost their last two conference road games.

    The loss dropped Penn State (5-11) to 0-5 in Big Ten play, the worst start since joining the conference in 1992.

    Illinois had to play most of the game without Cook, who came in leading the Big Ten with 22.6 points per game. Cook, who scored four of his 11 points late in the game, sat the last 9:55 of the first half after picking up a personal foul and a technical foul. He got his fourth foul with 12:06 to play and sat for almost nine minutes. Cook played just 17 minutes.

    "With (Cook) out of the game, he's our main scorer, Nick and I had to both step it up,'' Augustine said. "Luckily, it was my game to shine.''

    The Nittany Lions fought their way back into the game behind the inside play of Aaron Johnson, and a 3-pointer by Sharif Chambliss brought Penn State within 48-46 with 10:53 left.

    Illinois went back up by six on baskets by Augustine and Dee Brown, and the game took a critical turn when the Illini came up with a loose ball and Sean Harrington hit a 3-pointer from the right corner for a 55-46 lead. Augustine would convert a three-point play as the Illini went on a 14-0 run to go up 62-46 with 7:31 left.

    "What's encouraging to me is we did that without Brian,'' Self said. "We got ourselves in a jam without Brian, and we bailed ourselves out without Brian, and I think that's a positive.''

    Penn State coach Jerry Dunn complained that Smith should have been called for a foul, saying he held Robert Summers while going for the loose ball.

    "The Rob Summers play was really critical,'' Dunn said. "He grabbed his jersey, and that's something that should be recognized.''

    Luther Head added 13 points for Illinois, and Brown had 11 assists.

    Brandon Watkins led Penn State with 18 points, DeForrest Riley had 13 and Chambliss 11.

    Fouls plagued the Illini throughout the game. Augustine fouled out with 5:23 left, and Smith played the last 5:58 with four fouls.

    After hitting three early 3-pointers and taking an 11-9 lead with 16:11 left in the first half, Penn State's offense fell apart, going 11:23 without a field goal while Illinois went on a 24-3 run.

    But Cook picked up the personal and technical and went to the bench with 9:55 left in the half. Watkins had two layups and a three-point play in the final minutes to pull the Nittany Lions with 38-29 at halftime.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    2002-03 Season

    » Jan 25, 2003 ILL 75, @PSU 63Recap