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Illinois holds off Penn State

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Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, 10:54 p.m.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — D.J. Richardson started slowly Thursday but finished with 18 points and hit a pair of key free throws late in Illinois' ugly 64-59 win over Penn State.

The win was the fifth straight 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), which has lost 14 straight, sent the Illini to the line 36 times. Marshall led Penn State with 20.

— AP

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