Thursday College Hoops Superlatives: Illinois Hates Being Ranked

GAME/UPSET OF THE NIGHT: Penn State 54, Illinois 52

Tim Frazier hit a floater in the lane with 8 seconds left and Jermaine Marshall blocked Sam Maniscalco's layup at the buzzer to give Penn State a 54-52 upset of No. 25 Illinois.

Here's your fact of the day: Over the past seven seasons, Illinois is 6-2 against Penn State when unranked and 0-5 when ranked entering the game.

The momentum the Illini had built up after an upset over Ohio State which left alone atop the Big Ten standings was quickly halted by a Nittany Lion club that had dropped three straight.

"This obviously sucks," said Brandon Paul, who scored 43 in the upset of Ohio State and a team-high 20 on Thursday. "I think we're a team that's capable of beating Penn State. They made plays at the end of the game."

PLAYER OF THE NIGHT: Anthony Ireland, Loyola Marymount

Had 27 points, five assists and five steals as Loyola-Marymount won its sixth straight game with an 82-68 victory over BYU. In a year where plenty of teams appear impossible to figure out, the Lions might be the most peculiar. They beat UCLA and Saint Louis fairly handily, lost to Morgan State by 24 and North Texas 13, are a perfect 4-0 in WCC road games, but have lost both of the league contests they've hosted.

HONOR ROLL:

Keith Gabriel, VMI - Scored 29 points as VMI beat High Point, 88-77. The Keydets have now won 13 straight at home, tied for the second-best streak in program history.

Charlie Westbrook, South Dakota - Tied his career high with 32 points, helping South Dakota erase a big early deficit and beat IUPUI 88-78.

Jake Cohen, Davidson - Scored 29 points and grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds to lead Davidson past College of Charleston 87-69 for the Wildcats' sixth straight win.

Arion Harper, Charleston Southern - Scored a career-high 28 points as Charleston Southern upended first-place UNC Asheville 93-88 to hand the Bulldogs their first Big South conference loss.

Harrison Barnes, North Carolina - Scored nine of his game-high 27 points during a 19-0 second-half run that propelled UNC to an 82-68 win over Virginia Tech.

Casper Ware, Long Beach State - Dropped 30 in LBSU's 78-69 win over Cal Poly.

FIVE TO END:

1. Virginia came into Thursday night holding opponents to an average of 51.1 points per game, and somehow managed to improve on that mark with a 70-38 win over Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets were just 1-of-15 (6.7 %) from behind the 3-point line.

2. Not only is Davidson the lone unbeaten in the Southern Conference at 7-0, the Wildcats are the only team in the league with less than three conference losses. DC rolled over Charleston 87-69 Thursday night.

3. Duke didn't start Austin Rivers for the first time all season, but the freshman scored 20 points in 32 minutes as the Devils had no trouble extending their home-winning streak to 45 with a rout of Wake Forest.

4. No word yet on the status of North Carolina's Dexter Strickland, who injured his knee midway through the first half against Virginia Tech. Strickland is easily the team's best perimeter defender, and losing him would be a definite blow to UNC's title hopes.

5. There are two undefeated and two winless teams remaining in Division-I. Binghamton became the first team to fall to UMBC on its home floor this season with a 64-58 defeat that "improved" its record to 0-18. The Towson Tigers are 0-19.

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