Cockburn’s double-double powers Illinois past Hampton 120-71
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Kofi Cockburn and Ayo Dosunmu scored 20 points apiece and Illinois beat Hampton 120-71 on Saturday night.
Cockburn also grabbed 13 rebounds and is the only freshman in the country with five double-doubles through six games.
“We came out and played the way we are supposed to,” Dosunmu said. “We’re getting better and better, collectively.”
Alan Griffin and Andres Feliz each added 19 points for Illinois (5-1). Giorgi Bezhanishvili scored 14 points.
“My teammates got me going. They told me to keep shooting, so I did,” Griffin said. The sophomore averages 6.4 points per game but leads the team with nine 3-pointers through six games.
Jermaine Marrow led Hampton (3-2) with 22 points. Benjamin Stanley added 20 for the Pirates.
Illinois took the lead at the outset on two Cockburn free throws followed by his massive dunk after a Pirates turnover.
Illinois had no turnovers at the half and led 62-31. The Illini finished with nine turnovers to the Pirates 16.
“It was really nice to have a half of not turning the ball over,” Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. “We also had 16 assists. I’m proud of what the guys accomplished tonight.”
Illinois’ 120 points were its most since scoring 121 against Chicago State in December 1993. Illinois shot 45 of 70 from the field for 64%, its best shooting percentage since 2011. “We were dialed in tonight,” Underwood said.
“This is nowhere near our best,” Dosunmu said. “I think the other teams in the country should be scared.”
Hampton was 28 of 64 (38%) from the field.
Hampton: It was a learning experience for a Hampton team that isn’t nearly as bad as this score might indicate. But the Pirates were outgunned from the beginning and never challenged Illinois for the lead.
Illinois: It was the best overall game, offensively and defensively, in Underwood’s three seasons.
HE SAID IT
“Trent Frazier absolutely controlled the game, defensively,” Underwood said. “That’s what this game is all about, defense. I think Trent has become one of the most elite defensive players, not just in the Big Ten, but in the entire country.”
BY THE NUMBERS
Illinois ranks second nationally in offensive rebounding percentage (45.8%), and is 12th nationally in defensive free-throw rate (17.5) — a huge improvement from last season when the Illini were 338th in the country in defensive free-throw rate.
Illinois is the only team in the Big Ten Conference with three players averaging at least 14 points per game.
Going into Saturday’s game, Cockburn was tied for the NCAA lead in double-doubles, was the No. 5 rebounder, and tops among freshman, averaging 12.6 rebounds per game.
Hampton: Travels to San Francisco on Tuesday.
Illinois: Hosts Lindenwood on Tuesday, the fourth of a five-game homestand. The Illini play five of their next six games at the State Farm Center.
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