In a game that Illinois led wire to wire, Ayo Dosunmu did something an Illinois Basketball player hasn’t done since 2001: record a triple-double.
Dosunmu notched 21 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists, Kofi Cockburn poured in 23 points and 14 rebounds, and the Illini (13-5, 9-3 Big Ten) picked up their fourth consecutive Big Ten win and second straight over Wisconsin, 75-60, on Saturday afternoon at the State Farm Center in Champaign.
Last year, Dosunmu played the hero and iced the ‘roadkill’ for the Illini with a jumper from the top of the key over Brad Davison. The victory snapped a 15-game losing streak to the Badgers. This year, his triple-double helped erase a 7-game home losing streak against Wisconsin (14-6, 8-5 Big Ten) dating back to 2011.
The Illini jumped out to a hot start thanks to some efficient looks from Dosunmu and Cockburn. The duo combined for 25 of Illinois’ 36 first-half points on 10-of-15 shooting and a perfect 5-of-5 at the line for Ayo. The two actually led Wisconsin by themselves in points (25 to 23), rebounds (18 to 11) and assists (4 to 2) at the break.
Now, it wasn’t ALL Dosunmu and Cockburn. The Illini defense held Wisconsin to just 30% from the floor and 0-9 from deep in the first frame. It was the lowest first-half point total for the Badgers all season. Pair that with stingy defense with excellent performances from your team’s best, and you have the recipe for a win almost every night.
Every time Wisconsin cut Illinois’ lead to single digits, the Illini had an answer. Cockburn tallied 11 more points in the second half, Dosunmu picked up 8 points and 8 more dimes and they did what great teams do — finish. Illinois out-rebounded Wisconsin 46-19 for the game and commanded the final 20 minutes to pull away, 75-60.
- Ayo Dosunmu: 21 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists
- Kofi Cockburn: 23 points, 14 rebounds
- D’Mitrik Trice: 22 points
Whoever drafts this man is getting a STEAL.
Previous Illinois Triple Doubles— Illini Stats & Notes (@IlliniStats) February 6, 2021
Mark Smith » Feb. 1, 1979 vs. Minnesota - 19 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists
Sergio McClain » Jan. 13, 2001 vs. Michigan - 10 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists https://t.co/JXsVdTfNzU
- Hot off a Big Ten Player of the Week nod, Ayo Dosunmu is the ONLY major conference player averaging 20+ PPG, 6+ RPG & 4+ APG.
- His sidekick Kofi Cockburn LEADS the NCAA in double-doubles and is one of only three major conference players to average a double-double at 16.8 points and 10.2 rebounds per game.
- Senior Trent Frazier is averaging just under 19 points the last three games while shooting nearly 45% behind the arc.
- Fellow backcourt mate Da’Monte Williams leads the country in 3-point shooting at a clip of 59.5%.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Kofi Cockburn has 8 dunks against Wisconsin pic.twitter.com/ztxiklKaXh— IllinoisLoyalty (@IllinoisLoyalty) February 6, 2021
TWEET OF THE GAME
Kofi + Ayo: 25 points, 18 rebounds, 4 assists— Quentin Wetzel (@qwetz29) February 6, 2021
Wisconsin: 23 points, 11 rebounds, 2 assists
Well, it was supposed to be Michigan, but that game has been postponed due to the new COVID-19 variant.
Another first place B1G team ducking us. FOR SHAME https://t.co/6njfiM6ptX— The Champaign Room (@Champaign_Room) February 6, 2021
Instead, Illinois’ next matchup is currently scheduled to be Northwestern (6-9, 3-8 Big Ten) at home on Tuesday, Feb. 16.