Big 2nd Half Lifts Purdue Past Illinois & Into First Place Tie

IlliniGuys Staff

February 8, 2022

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue sophomore Jaden Ivey scored 22 of his game-high 26 points in the second half as the 3rd ranked Boilermakers came up big after halftime to defeat #13 Illinois 84-68 Tuesday night.

The win was the 9th in 10 Big Ten game for Purdue (21-3, 10-3), who now ties Illinois and Wisconsin for first place in the conference.

The first half looked like much of the see-saw battle these two teams waged in Champaign three weeks earlier, when Purdue needed double-overtime to put away an Illini team that fought them evenly despite limited playing time from Kofi Cockburn, who had fouled out and later discovered had sustained a concussion during the game.

This time, the All-American center scored six early points to go with five each from Jacob Grandison and Alfonso Plumer as Illinois (17-6, 10-3) built an early 21-12 lead.  But Purdue went on a 14-0 run to take its first lead of the game at 26-21.  The Illini later closed the half on an 8-0 run of their own while Cockburn sat with two fouls.  Plummer hit a pair of threes and Andre Curbelo sprinted the length of the court for a buzzer-beating layup to give Illinois the 38-36 halftime lead.

But things went differently for the Illini and that's when Ivey took charge.  After being held to just 1-of-5 shooting and four points in the first half, the NBA prospect seemed to score at will on a variety of shots.  Ivey hit 9-of-12 from the field for 22 points in the half and dished out six assists in the game.  Purdue shot a sizzling 65% from the field after halftime - after hitting just 33% in the first half - as they outscored Illinois 48-30 in the second half.  The Illini shot just 36% in the final 20 minutes, including 1-of-10 from three-point range.

Cockburn led Illinois with 18 points and seven rebounds.  Curbelo finished with 15 points and Plummer had 14 points, all in the first half.

The Illini are now off until hosting Northwestern on Sunday (1pm, BTN).

Stay with IlliniGuys.com for complete postgame coverage and analysis.

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