Sports

Plummer, Cockburn mix for 68; shorthanded Illini fend off Vaqueros

For the second recreation in a row, it was the Alfonso Plummer and Kofi Cockburn present.

After going for 44 as a pair towards Kansas State earlier within the week, the duo mixed for 68 on Friday night time to assist the Illini escape a 94-85 scare towards the Texas-Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros on on the State Farm Center in Champaign.

Three beginning lineup mainstays had been dominated out of the competition; Trent Frazier continues to be recovering from a knee damage sustained on towards Kansas State, Jacob Grandison is battling an sickness and Andre Curbelo is coping with the lingering results of a concussion he suffered earlier within the season.

That being mentioned, Illinois rolled out a singular beginning lineup of: Alfonso Plummer, Da’Monte Williams, Austin Hutcherson, Coleman Hawkins and Kofi Cockburn.

As has been the pattern for the Illini this season, Brad Underwood’s squad got here out flat-footed. The absences of three rotation gamers solely magnified that downside. The Illini discovered themselves doubled up, 24-12, on the under-12 media timeout. Enter, Plummer and Cockburn. The duo led a 27-13 run to shut the half and mixed for 31 of Illinois’ 39 first-half factors.

The Illinois protection struggled to get stops within the second body with the Vaquero assault discovering shocking success amongst the timber. On the opposite finish of the ground, the Illini funneled its offense by way of its All-American, Kofi Cockburn. He scored practically half of the Illini’s second-half factors, recorded a career-high 38 and virtually single-handedly willed the Illini out of an upset.

Both groups had been deadlocked at 82 with three minutes to go earlier than the Illini began to tug away. A pair of free throws from Hawkins and a putback from Williams gave the Illini their largest lead since early on within the first half. The Vaqueros would minimize it to a possession with a free throw, however bought no nearer than that as Illinois got here out on prime, 94-85.

STAT STUFFERS

  • Alfonso Plummer (ILL): 30 factors, 6-11 3FG, 8-8 FT
  • Kofi Cockburn (ILL): 38 factors, 15-19 FG, 8-11 FT, 10 rebounds
  • Marek Nelson (UTRGV): 23 factors, 7 rebounds
  • Justin Johnson (UTRGV): 28 factors, 11-14 FT

SOUND SMART

This appears good.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS

Kofi slams are all the time a welcome sight for sore eyes.

TWEET OF THE GAME

Oop—

WHO’S NEXT

The Illini welcome the Notre Dame Fighting Irish into city on Monday for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Much just like the Illini, the Fighting Irish (3-2) have stumbled out of the gates, dropping video games towards St. Mary’s and Texas A&M on the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. Tipoff is about for 8 p.m. CT on ESPN2.

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