CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - 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."
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.
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."