October 29, 2021
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Preseason Big Ten Player of the Year Kofi Cockburn scored 21 points and grabbed eight rebounds and the Illinois guards got a bigger challenge than expected as the 11th ranked Illini defeated Indiana of Pennsylvania, 94-79 in their second and final exhibition contest.
With veteran guards Da'Monte Williams and Jacob Grandison sitting out with minor injuries and Trent Frazier limited by an injury to his right, non-shooting shoulder in the opening minutes, super senior Alfonso Plummer stepped up and showed the depth of this Illini team. The former Utah sharpshooter scored 16 points, hitting a trio of three-pointers and shooting 7-of-8 from the free throw line on the night. Plummer's marksmanship was equaled by Jacob Grandison, who also hit 3 of 7 from beyond the arc in his 13-point night.
Coleman Hawkins also showed an athleticism and versatility that was rarely seen in limited play during his freshman season. The 6'10" forward scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds and turned in a number of eye-popping plays. The California native seemed live above the rim all night, delivering a pair of alley-oop dunks and scoring on second-chance opportunities.
Sophomore point guard Andre Curbelo put up a double-double with 14 points and 12 assists, but also committed ten turnovers before fouling out.
The Illini now look ahead to their regular season opener against Jackson State a week from Tuesday at State Farm Center.
Stay with IlliniGuys.com for complete postgame coverage and analysis.
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