Kofi Cockburn powered for 21 points and 10 rebounds and No. 25 Illinois remained undefeated in the Big Ten by defeating Michigan 68-53 on Friday night in Champaign, Ill.
Trent Frazier had 18 points and seven assists for Illinois (13-3, 6-0). Alfonso Plummer added 15 points.
DeVante' Jones led the Wolverines (7-7, 1-3) with 17 points. Moussa Diabate added nine points and six rebounds.
Michigan had its two previous games postponed due to COVID-19 issues within the program. The Wolverines were playing for the first time since losing at Rutgers on Jan. 4.
The Wolverines were missing their leading scorer and rebounder, Hunter Dickinson (16.1 points, 8.8 rebounds per game), as well as forward Brandon Johns Jr., both.
The Fighting Illini were clinging to a two-point lead with fewer than eight minutes left in the opening half. From there, however, they went on a 7-0 run, including five points from Plummer, to take a 22-13 lead.
Jones scored nine points over the remainder of the half to keep Michigan close. Jace Howard dove for a loose ball and tossed it to Jones for a 3-pointer to cut Illinois' lead to 24-22. But a Cockburn basket allowed Illinois to hold a four-point lead at halftime.
Cockburn converted a three-point play two minutes into the second half to increase the Fighting Illini's lead to eight. He made another layup with 14:11 to go for a 39-29 lead. A Plummer layup with 11 minutes left made it 43-35.
A 6-0 Wolverines spurt cut Illinois' lead to two points. A Kobe Bufkin basket soon pulled Michigan within one, but Cockburn responded with a dunk to make it 47-44 in favor of Illinois with 6:35 to play.
That began a 7-0 Illini run that was capped by a Jacob Grandison 3-pointer. Frazier made a 3-pointer and layup over the next minute to give his club a 59-48 lead with 3:23 left. A couple of Frazier free throws with 1:54 remaining increased Illinois' lead to 12.
--Field Level Media