No. 18 Illinois tops No. 11 Wisconsin, 80-67

Kofi Cockburn had 37 points and 12 rebounds and No. 18 Illinois beat No. 11 Wisconsin 80-67 on Wednesday night.

Cockburn had 20 first-half points on 10-of-12 shooting, including two rim-rattling dunks. He finished 16 of 19, making his last five shots for the Illini (16-5, 9-2 Big Ten).

Wisconsin matched up a pair of 7-footers, Steven Crowl and Chris Vogt, with Cockburn, but they were unable to limit his impact.

"My coaches emphasized how physical I should be in the game, so certain games you’ve got to take advantage of it," Cockburn said. "I’m just prepared and ready for that. I don’t really think I was licking my chops. I think I can score on most of the bigs in the Big Ten, if not everyone."

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Johnny Davis led Wisconsin (17-4, 8-3) with 22 points and 15 rebounds.

Illinois took a 42-38 lead into halftime after shooting 19 of 34 from the field in the first half. The Illini opened the second half on a 12-4 run, including a 3 from Alfonso Plummer that made it 51-40.

Badgers guard Brad Davison fouled Plummer while shooting another 3 a couple of minutes later, and he made the ensuing three free throws to put Illinois up 12.

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Jacob Grandison added 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists for Illinois. He was 3 of 6 from 3-point range, a significant improvement after going 1 of 10 from 3 in wins over Michigan State and Northwestern.

"I just decided I was out of my slump, from here on out. I literally just decided. I was talking to (director of recruiting and scouting Tyler Underwood) and I told him I was back, I’m good. Mind control. Power of the mind."


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