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No. 21 Illinois Runs Away In 2nd Half To Sweep Purdue

Illinois center Kofi Cockburn (21) looks to shoot over Purdue center Matt Haarms (32) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in West Lafayette, Ind., Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


By Michael Marot, AP Sports Writer

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Kofi Cockburn finished with 22 points and 15 rebounds, Trent Frazier added 21 points and No. 21 Illinois pulled away in the second half for a 79-62 victory at Purdue on Tuesday night.

The Fighting Illini (14-5, 6-2 Big Ten) have won five straight league games for the first time in nearly seven years and are off to their best conference start since 2005-06. They also swept the Boilermakers for the first time since 2008-09.

Nojel Eastern had 14 points and Trevion Williams scored 12 to lead Purdue (10-9, 4-4). The Boilermakers have lost four of five and had a 15-game winning streak in conference home games end.

It really wasn’t even close over the final 20 minutes, either.

Illinois opened the second half on a 7-0 run, erasing a 30-29 halftime deficit, then took advantage of five straight baskets to extend the lead to 49-39 with 13:30 to play.

The Illini made it 60-45 on Giorgi Bezhanishvili’s 3-pointer with 8:27 to go and Purdue couldn’t get closer than nine the rest of the game.

BIG PICTURE

Illinois: The Illini pulled off a rare feat by winning a Big Ten road game. And the reason is obvious — defense travels. Illinois came into the game allowing 57.3 points as teams shot just 36.6% from the field and 31.1% on 3s during their previous four wins. They weren’t quite as good Tuesday, allowing Purdue to shoot 41.1% from the field and 37.5% on 3s — but they were more than good enough.

Purdue: The Boilermakers keep struggling to score, and it caught up to them again on Tuesday. After scoring only 37 points in the first meeting with Illinois, the Boilermakers couldn’t reach the 60-point mark on their home court until the final minute. If coach Matt Painter can’t find a solution soon, with the midway point of conference play fast approaching, it could be an even tougher final two months.

STAT SHEET

Illinois: Ayo Dosunmu finished with 18 points and a career high 11 assists. Bezhanishvili had 10 points. … Cockburn nearly posted a double-double in the first half with nine points and nine rebounds. … Frazier’s streak of turnover-free basketball ended at 193 minutes Tuesday. The guard went nearly 6 1/4 games between turnovers. … The Illini also snapped a seven-game losing streak at Mackey Arena.

Purdue: Matt Haarms had 10 points and six rebounds. Sasha Stefanovic had nine points. … The Boilermakers were outrebounded 37-19, giving Illinois an 83-53 advantage in this season’s two games. … The Boilermakers had won six straight home games against ranked opponents at home before Tuesday.

EARLY EXIT

Illinois guard Alan Griffin was ejected with 12:21 left in the first half for a flagrant 2 foul.

A replay review showed Griffin intentionally stomped on Stefanovic’s midsection after the Purdue guard had driven to the basket for a layup, bringing a crescendo of boos from the crowd. Stefanovic made one of two free throws for an unusual three-point play.

UP NEXT

Illinois hits the road again Saturday when it heads to Michigan.

Purdue welcomes Wisconsin in a rare Friday night contest in West Lafayette.


 

The post No. 21 Illinois Runs Away In 2nd Half To Sweep Purdue appeared first on The Village Reporter.


Source: The Village Reporter

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