STATE COLLEGE, Pennsylvania (Ticker) -- Roger Powell and Luther Head got unbeaten Illinois off to a fast start on a history-making night.
Powell and Head combined for 29 points on 13-of-14 shooting in the first half as top-ranked Illinois dismantled lowly Penn State, 83-63, in a Big Ten Conference contest.
The victory gave the Fighting Illini their longest winning streak in school history at 26 games and extended the nation's longest road winning streak to 13. Illinois won 25 straight from February 21, 1914-February 9, 1916.
"We haven't talked about streaks but I told them beforehand, streaks are not important," Illinois coach Bruce Weber said. "Winning the Big Ten, getting a high seed in the Big Ten and NCAA Tournament and winning the NCAA Tournament are what's important. But it's nice to enter the record books."
Powell made all eight of his shots and scored 16 points in the opening 20 minutes and Head knocked down three 3-pointers on his way to 13 as the Illini shot 67 percent (22-of-33) and opened a 52-30 lead at the half.
"We got some easy looks," Weber said. "We talked about pushing the ball. Then we got some inside touches that kind of sucked their defense in, then we were able to shoot the three's. ... We talked before the game about making the extra pass. We knew that if we kept moving the ball eventually they wouldn't get there."
Illinois, which shot 12-of-28 from the arc and recorded 27 assists on 34 baskets, took its biggest lead at 74-44 with 10:43 left after three straight baskets by James Augustine.
"It was non-existent," said Penn State coach Ed DeChellis about his club's defensive effort. "They have a lot of speed. They went by us and we didn't match up. We tried to switch defenses on them but we never scored to switch. They hit a lot of threes against our zone and did what they wanted to do. We had no answers."
Powell made all 10 of his shots overall en route to a season-high 21 points. Dee Brown shot 5-of-9 from the arc, scored 19 points and handed out 11 assists for Illinois (26-0, 12-0 Big Ten), which tied the 1914-15 and 1942-43 teams by opening conference play with 12 straight wins. Head finished with 16 points and five assists.
Freshman Geary Claxton had 19 points and six rebounds for Penn State (7-17, 1-10), which has lost six straight games.