Cockburn Career Night Raises Illinois 14th to 94-85 Wins

Champaign, Illinois (AP) — Coffey Cockburn scored a career record of 38 points, leading 14th place Illinois to a fierce 94-85 victory in the Texas Rio Grande Valley on Friday night.

Illinois (4-2) started slowly, dragging Bakeros by 12 points in the first half. A timely bucket of Utah transfer guards Cockburn and Alfonso Plummer helped Irini lead one point in the half with a 15-5 run.

Plummer scored 30 points in 8 out of 14 shots and connected in 6 out of 11 3-point attempts. He also scored the team’s first six points in the second half.

Cockburn opened a dunk in the lane to raise Irini to 88-83, playing 1:40 and then knocking down two free throws to win in the last minute.

Justin Johnson was the top scorer in the Texas Rio Grande Valley (4-3) with 28 points. Marek Nelson had 23 points and the team’s best 7 rebounds.

Illinois lacked starters Andre Crubero and Trent Frazier due to injury, but Jacob Grandison was unable to play due to illness.

This week was the second time for Plummer to score more than 20 points. On Tuesday, he defeated Kansas 72-64 on Tuesday, making seven threes with 21 points.

Big picture

Injuries and other absenteeism hampered Irini’s chemistry earlier this season. If only Cockburn and Plummer are players that can be produced consistently, it could cause problems with Notre Dame, Rutgers and 17th Arizona coming next month.


Illinois: Hosted the University of Notre Dame on Monday.

Texas Rio Grande Valley: Hosts Texas A & M Corpus Christi on Wednesday.