Ayo goes for a triple-double as Illini soar past Badgers, 75-60

By Larry Smith/IlliniGuys.com

Ayo Dosunmu tallied Illinois’ first triple-double in 20 years and Kofi Cockburn had a double-double before halftime as #12 Illinois dominated 19th ranked Wisconsin, 75-60 to win their fourth straight game.  The victory also marked the first time the Illini had beaten the Badgers in Champaign since 2011.

Dosunmu finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and 12 assists for the most prolific stat game by an Illini since Sergio McClain’s night in January, 2001.  Cockburn scored 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for his 13th double-double, tied for best in the nation.

D’mitrik Trice led Wisconsin (14-6, 8-5) with 22 points.

Dosunmu's night marks just the third triple-double in program history.  Mark Smith tallied the first on February 1, 1979.

Illinois (13-5, 9-3) holds onto sole possession of second place in the Big Ten as they now await their immediate future.  During the second half of the game, conference-leading Michigan announced it will extend its two-week hiatus due to COVID issues at the Ann Arbor campus and is postponing its scheduled game next Thursday with Illinois.  That leaves the Illini with three games pending due to the coronavirus – all road games at Nebraska, Michigan State, and now Michigan.

At the moment, the Illini will be idle until February 16th, when Northwestern pays a visit.

Illinois controlled this contest almost from the opening tip.  After the two teams exchanged baskets, the Illini went on an 11-2 run and never looked back, building a ten-point lead at 27-17.  The game plan was to get the ball to Cockburn and he responded with 12 points and 10 rebounds before halftime.  The Illini were in command 36-23 at the break.

Of Cockburn's field goals, more than half were on dunks.  When asked about it later, coach Brad Underwood said "I'd like about 15.  Then I'll be impressed."

Illinois built their advantage to 43-27 and 46-30 before Wisconsin began to whittle away.  With Dosunmu and Cockburn resting on the bench, the Badgers went on an 11-2 run of their own to cut the deficit to 48-41.

But that's as close as they would get.  Illinois holding the Badgers to a season-low 17 % from 3-point range and dominating the boards to the tune of 46-19.

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