CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) -- Highlight reel dunks came from two places on Saturday at the State Farm Center: the video board and Penn State.
Illinois honored its famed 1989 Final Four team the "Flyin' Illini" with a halftime ceremony, pregame interviews and a Friday night reception at Urbana Country Club. Moments from the squad's magical run ran throughout the game on the stadium screens. But the present-day Illini couldn't reciprocate the magic and fell 83-76 to Penn State.
The high-flying Nittany Lions (11-16, 4-12) asserted themselves early, often and enough to thwart a mid-second half comeback attempt from the Illini (10-17, 6-10) in which the deficit reached as little as four.
"They played much, much harder than we did," head coach Brad Underwood said. "This is a great example of what happens in Big Ten basketball when you show up flat and not ready to play."
Andres Feliz was the lone offensive spark for Illinois for much of the game and finished with 17 points, while Ayo Dosunmu posted 18 points on the strength of a flurry of baskets in the game's final minutes.
Lamar Stevens scored a game-high 25 points for Penn State, while center Mike Watkins was a bully inside with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 5 blocks.
Up next for Illinois is a Wednesday trip to West Lafayette to play No. 15 Purdue. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Central on BTN.