KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Led by a breakout performance by Graduate Student Alfonso Plummer and a double-double achievement from Junior Kofi Cockburnthe Fightinglassung got a 72-64 victory over Kansas State in the consolation game of the Hall of Fame Classic on Tuesday evening.
Plummer made a statement in his fifth game in an Illinois jersey, scoring 21 points and seven three points, just one of the Illinois single-game record of eight. Cockburn recorded his first double-double of the season with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Second year André Curbelo led the team in assists with seven helpers during the night.
The Illinois started strong, aided by seven points and two rebounds from Cockburn in the first five minutes to take a 10-4 lead.
After the Wildcats scored a 16-14 lead with ten to go in the first half in a scoring run in Kansas State, the Illinois offense went on. Alfonso Plummer started the run with Treys in three consecutive ball possession, and a pair of Cockburn buckets gave the Illinois a 29-22 lead.
Another Wildcat scoring run, along with layups from Austin Hutcherson, Jacob Grandison, and Cockburn put the score to 34-31 Illinois on break.
It was a back and forth to start the second half. Kansas State opened with a 6-0 run followed by a 7-0 run from Illinois.
After the Wildcats took the lead 42:41, the Illinois offense heated up again thanks to outstanding shots from the background. Plummer added another trio of three-pointers in their sophomore year Coleman Hawkins added his second three of the game and a 21-7 Illinois run opened a 62-49 lead five minutes from the end of the competition.
Kansas State held it tight, taking the game to two possession in less than two minutes, but the Illinois Defense knocked out the Wildcats and won the 72-64 victory.
- Illinois ended a two-game slip with their 72-64 win, bringing the team to 3-2 that season.
- Illinois had the best times of the season for the field goal percentage (25-48 / .521) and the three-point percentage (12-26 / .462).
- Illinois made the top 20 assists of the season.
- Doctoral student Alfonso Plummer reached seven threes against Kansas State, just one deficit on Illinois’ single-game record and most since then Trent Frazier scored seven threesomes against Wisconsin on February 8, 2018.
- Junior Kofi Cockburn recorded his first double-double of the season and 29NS his career, tying him for seventh place in Illinois history.
- Second year Coleman Hawkins combined his career with two threesomes.
- Doctoral student Austin Hutcherson new career highlights in rebounds (four), assists (two) and minutes played (20).