Illinois men’s basketball uses big second half to beat Indiana in Bloomington


Cameron Krasucki

Senior guard Trent Frazier shoots during the second half of Illinois’ 80-67 win over Wisconsin on Wednesday at State Farm Center.

By Jackson Janes, Sports Editor

Behind big second-half runs, the Illini took down the Hoosiers, 74-57, and left Bloomington with a huge statement road win on Saturday.

Fifth-year senior guard Trent Frazier led all scorers with 23 points, 14 of which came in the second half, on 8-11 shooting, while junior center Kofi Cockburn recorded 17 points and graduate student guard Alfonso Plummer finished with 14.

Plummer opened the scoring with a pair of free throws after getting fouled while driving to the rim. 

After Hoosier senior guard Xavier Johnson hit a jumper from the free-throw line, Cockburn backed down his defender in the paint before converting the layup to give the Illini a 4-2 lead. That two-point advantage was Illinois’ largest of the half and the last time it led in the opening 20 minutes of play.

Indiana used a 17-7 run over the next six minutes to open up an eight-point lead, its largest of the half. The stretch included scoring from five different Hoosiers, including five points apiece from redshirt seniors forward Race Thompson and guard Parker Stewart.

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Two free throws from sophomore guard Andre Curbelo and a Plummer trey cut the Illini’s deficit to four before three Hoosier free throws opened the hosts’ lead back to seven.

A 6-0 run that featured four points from Frazier and a Cockburn layup reduced Illinois’ deficit to a single point. A jumper from Indiana freshman guard Tamar Bates extended its lead to three before Illinois tied the contest for the first time in over 11 minutes with three free throws.

The two teams traded baskets for the remainder of the half, though the Hoosiers headed into halftime with a two-point lead, 36-34. Frazier and Plummer led Illinois with nine points each, while Johnson had a team-high nine for Indiana at the break.

Cockburn struggled in the first 20 minutes and recorded five points on 2-7 shooting, though he hit a jumper 16 seconds into the second half to even the score at 36.

An 8-4 Hoosier run, fueled by four points apiece from Thompson and junior forward Trayce Jackson-Davis, over the next four minutes gave the hosts a four-point lead. A 10-0 Illini run soon after, which included two 3-pointers from graduate student forward Jacob Grandison, gave the visitors its first lead in over 25 minutes of action and its largest lead of the afternoon – a 52-46 advantage – with just over nine minutes to play.

A Johnson triple cut Indiana’s deficit in half, but a Cockburn and-one jumper and a Frazier triple opened up a 58-49 Illinois lead, the largest by either team.

Indiana cut its deficit to seven with a fast-break dunk, but a 6-0 Illinois run, this one featuring a Frazier triple, a Cockburn layup and Cockburn free throw, extended the visitors’ lead to 64-51 with less than four minutes to play.

The Hoosiers cut their deficit to 11, but a Williams triple, his second of the night, and a Plummer trey put the Illini up by 17, 72-55, with two minutes to play and sent Indiana fans flocking for the exits.



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