Dosunmu, Cockburn Lead Illini To 79-62 Win At Purdue
The Fighting Illini men's basketball team beat Purdue 79-62 Tuesday night in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Ayo Dosunmu scored 18 points and dished out a career-high 11 assists — many of them to Kofi Cockburn, who scored a game-high 22 points and tallied his own-double-double by grabbing 15 rebounds.
Cockburn said his off-court relationship with Dosunmu helped them connect on the court.
“Our relationship off the court is really good. We trust in him, and he trusts in me," Cockburn said. "And that connection looks like whenever I come off the screen, he always tells me he’s gonna throw it as high as possible, and I have to go get it.”
Trent Frazier added 21 points for Illinois, making 5-7 shots from three-point range. Dosunmu explained how he analyzed the Purdue defense while deciding which hot hand to assist.
"When I come off the ball screen, the first thing I read is the third defender," Dosunmu said. "Is he coming up? Is he staying solid? After that, it depends how you're playing it. I come off (the screen), I look at Trent (Frazier) off of that, and if he's not there, Kofi (Cockburn). I know he's there, he's seven feet (tall). I throw that ball high, nobody else can get to it but him."
The Illini started hot from the floor, but stumbled late in the first half when sophomore Alan Griffin inexplicably stomped his foot into the sternum of Purdue guard Sasha Stefanovic, as Stefanovic lay prone under the basket. Griffin was ejected from the game. Stafanovic declined to speak about the incident after the game. Illini coach Brad Underwood addressed the issue.
"Alan’s unfortunate situation, which, in no way, shape or form, he apologized to their young man, we don’t condone any of that. That’s not part of anything we’re trying to do in our program,” Underwood said.
Nojel Eastern led Purdue with 14 points. Trevion Williams added a dozen.
The Illini out-rebounded the Boilermakers 37-19. Dosunmu's 11 assists eclipsed Purdue's team total of 8. The Illini team total was 18.
Illinois shot 55-percent from the floor to Purdue's 41-percent. The Illini converted 7-16 three-pointers while the Boilers managed only 3-8 for the game despite entering the contest averaging nearly 23 three-point attempts per-game in conference play. It was an all-out thrashing in Illinois' first win at Mackey Arena since 2008.
The Illini improve to 6-2 in the Big Ten conference, and 14-5 overall. Purdue is now 3-5 in the league, and 10-9 overall.
Illinois will try for a sixth straight conference win this Saturday at Michigan. That game tips at 11 a.m. CT.