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No. 8 Illinois feasts on Chicago State, 97-38

The Illini get their toughest test so far tomorrow against Ohio.

NCAA Basketball: Chicago State at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Just a day after blowing North Carolina A&T out by 62 and putting up the most points in the last 30 years of the program, the Illini (2-0) throttled Chicago State, 97-38, on Thanksgiving at State Farm Center in Champaign.

The Cougars (0-2) stepped in to Illinois’ multi-team event after Wright State opted out due to positive COVID-19 tests within the program. But they were simply outmatched by one of the best teams in the country.

Although it was the same result as Wednesday, it was a little different recipe for Illinois head coach Brad Underwood’s squad on Thursday. After setting the program record for made threes in a game (17) yesterday, the Illini dominated down low, scoring most of their early points in the paint (26 at half).

Ayo Dosunmu, Adam Miller and Kofi Cockburn picked up where they left off, combining for Illinois’ first 16 and 30 of its 47 first-half points. Cockburn led the way with 13 points and five rebounds and Dosunmu pitched in 10 points, six assists and four rebounds as the Illini took a 47-17 lead to the break.

Underwood continued to mix in his reserves in the second half with Giorgi Bezhanishvili, Andre Curbelo and Jacob Grandison logging significant minutes. That didn’t stop the Illini from pulling away, though, as they outscored the Cougars 50-21 in the second half.

Illinois’ defense was STOUT all day long, holding Chicago State to just 28% shooting from the field, 17% from deep and a +45 rebound margin in favor of the Illini. They easily coasted to a 97-38 victory.


  • Ayo Dosunmu: 22 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists
  • Kofi Cockburn: 14 points, 11 rebounds
  • Andre Curbelo: 18 points, 7 rebounds


Cockburn actually out-rebounded Chicago State (10 rebounds) by himself.



Off-hand up and under from the freshman? Beautiful.

6-foot Andre Curbelo did WHAT?!?!


The Illini will square off against the Ohio Bobcats (1-0) tomorrow for the conclusion of the multi-team event in Champaign.

The Bobcats knocked off Chicago State yesterday, 84-61, and they play North Carolina A&T later on Thursday.