BIG TEN: Illinois 64, Penn State 59
D.J. Richardson started slow but finished with 18 points and hit a pair of key free throws late in host Illinois’ ugly win over Penn State.
The win was the fifth consecutive win for Illinois (20-8, 7-7 Big Ten). But facing a team that hadn’t won since late December, it didn’t come easy.
Jermaine Marshall’s 3-pointer brought Penn State within 62-59 with 5 seconds left. Richardson then sank a pair of free throws that sealed the win.
Illinois led 29-20 at the end of a brutal first half.
The Illini’s Brandon Paul entered the game a point shy of 1,500 in his career. It took him almost 17 minutes to get it. He finished with 16.
Penn State (8-18, 0-14) has lost 14 in a row. The Nittany Lions committed 31 fouls and sent the Illini to the line 36 times. They made 23.
Guard Jermaine Marshall led Penn State with 20 points and forward Sasa Borovnjak added 17 points and six rebounds.
TOP 25: No. 6 Duke 88, Virginia Tech 56
Seth Curry scored 19 of his 22 points in the first half as visiting Duke opened a 20-point lead and sent Virginia Tech to its ninth consecutive loss.
Rasheed Sulaimon added 17 points and Mason Plumlee had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Blue Devils (23-3, 10-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) as they moved coach Mike Krzyzewski into sole possession of third place on the career list for victories at one school with 877.
He was tied with Adolph Rupp of Kentucky and is now two behind North Carolina’s Dean Smith. Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim leads with 910 victories.
Erick Green, the nation’s leading scorer with a 25.3 average coming in, led the Hokies (11-15, 2-11) with 22 points. C.J. Barksdale had a career-best 14 points and Cadarian Raines added 10, but no one else scored more than five as the Hokies shot just 43 percent and made only 1-of-16 3-point attempts.
Duke, meantime, buried the Hokies quickly with a 3-point barrage.
Cal 48, No. 23 Oregon 46
Justin Cobbs’ jumper with 0.7 seconds to play gave California a 48-46 victory over No. 23 Oregon on Thursday night.
Cobbs’ shot, which came after the Golden Bears (17-9, 9-5 Pac-12) ran nearly all of the final 26 seconds off the clock, hit nothing but net.
Cobbs finished with 14 points and Allen Crabbe had 12 for Cal, which has won four straight.
Arsalan Kazemi had 11 points and a season-high 18 rebounds for the Ducks (21-6, 10-4), who lost their 11th straight game to the Bears. Carlos Emory scored 13 points.
Oregon, which led 26-21 at halftime, was up 46-43 with 2:06 to play when Robert Thurman recorded a three-point play for Cal on a dunk and free throw to tie it.
The Ducks had a turnover and two missed shots in their final possessions.
MID-AMERICAN: Bowling Green 87, New Orleans 56
A’uston Calhoun and Jordon Crawford scored 16 points apiece and host Bowling Green led virtually throughout a rout of New Orleans in a non-conference mismatch. The Falcons (11-15) dominated New Orleans, which briefly led once in the first minute. After that, Bowling Green walloped the Privateers (8-15). The Falcons led 42-25 at halftime.