CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Illinois men’s basketball picked up its second win of the season with a 97-38 victory over Chicago State on Thursday. The No. 8 Illini dominated the glass, out-rebounding the Cougars 55-10, making it the lowest ever for an opponent at the State Farm Center. They also held them to just 3 boards in the second half.
Kofi Cockburn led the way with 11 rebounds and 14 points, making it his 14th career double-double.
“It’s all we talked about as the recipe for success late in the season, and that’s defensive rebounding, and we need to be dominant there, and it takes everybody,” says head coach Brad Underwood. “When we have defensive rebounding it gives us great opportunity to run, so we’ve got to continue that. Tomorrow will be a different challenge, and more size, and they look like a team that’s known for not giving up a lot of offensive rebounds, and we’ll be challenged there.”
Dosunmu came close to a triple double, leading the team in scoring with 22 points. The junior guard also notched 7 assists and 6 rebounds. He’s now had two consecutive 20-point performances for the first time since November 2019. Andre Curbelo also came to eat in his second game of his basketball career, with a stellar 16-point performance in the second half. The freshman ran the floor, adding 7 rebounds, and 18 total points.
“I knew he was a special player, he’s a great player, great IQ, really good scorer, and to see him come out and do that today, his second game in, it’s really interesting, he’s going to keep getting better,” says Cockburn.
Adam Miller followed up his 28-point freshman debut, with double-digit scoring again. Miller scored 15 points, and two rebounds.
“I kind of want to get these younger guys going, prepared for bigger games, the Baylor’s the Duke’s. So to help them, to get them more shots than me, more touches, more looks, and more opportunities, just to build their confidence up,” says Frazier.”
Before the game, players also got a Thanksgiving surprise, with their families appearing on the video board to announce the starting lineup. Frazier says, it “was a special moment.”
The Illini will be back for game three of the MTE, when they face Ohio for a noon tip-off on Big Ten Network.