THON night accompanies Penn State vs. Illinois game Wednesday

January 27, 2010

University Park, Pa. — The Nittany Lion basketball team will welcome students to the Bryce Jordan Center Wednesday for "THON Night" with all single-game student ticket sales donated to the 2010 Penn State Dance Marathon. Students will also receive a free inflatable No. 1 finger as they crank up the volume for one of the closest series in the nation over the past several seasons. The THON Morale Team will also perform the traditional group dance at halftime.

Penn State and Illinois will continue what has become a thrilling series full of last-second game-winners and stunning upsets. The Nittany Lions (8-11; 0-7 Big Ten) and Illini (12-8; 4-3 Big Ten) have seen five of their last nine meetings decided by one-point and the last six separated by just 2.1 ppg. The game tips off at 6:30 p.m. (ET) on the Big Ten Network.

Penn State has won four of the last six meeting in the series and the last two games at the Bryce Jordan Center, including a thrilling 64-63 victory over the No. 23-ranked Illini on Talor Battle's end-to-end driving lay-up at the buzzer last season. This season's meeting in Champaign was also decided by a point as the Illini claimed a 54-53 victory as Battle's last second three-pointer came up just short.

Penn State will be looking for its first conference win of the season after nearly upsetting No. 18-ranked Wisconsin in Madison on Sunday before falling, 79-71, in overtime. Battle posted his Big Ten leading ninth 20-point game of the season logging game-highs of 28 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Battle, who ranks second in the Big Ten posting 19.1 ppg, is the only player in one of the six BCS Conferences that leads his team in points, rebounds, assists and steals this season.

Illinois brings a three-game losing streak to the Jordan Center after falling at Northwestern, 73-68, on Saturday. The Illini's last win came over the Lions in Champaign on Jan. 12 as Demetri McCamey scored 25 points and Mike Tisdale 16. McCamey leads Illinois logging 15.4 ppg and leads the Big Ten averaging 5.9 assists per game.

Penn State was led by 15 points from Chris Babb in the first meeting between the teams. Babb is coming off a career-high 16 points at Wisconsin on Sunday. David Jackson, who is averaging 10.1 ppg while shooting 56 percent from the floor in his last three games, had 12 points at Wisconsin. The Nittany Lions held and eight-point lead with 8:40 to play in the game at Champaign and have held significant leads in four of their seven Big Ten losses on the season, including a 16-point lead with 11:14 left at Wisconsin.

Penn State season basketball tickets, PNC Bank Flex Book plans (10 tickets to use at any game for $99) or single game tickets can be purchased by visiting, Ticketmaster or calling (814) 865-5555. Single-game tickets for Nittany Lion games are $18 for lower bowl seating, $15 for upper bowl seating and $7/$5 for youth. Penn State also offers special group ticket rates (15 fans or more) of $10 for adults.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated January 27, 2010