CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Ayo Dosunmu scored 18 points and freshman center Kofi Cockburn added 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead Illinois past Nebraska 71-59 on Monday.
Trent Frazier and Andres Feliz added 11 points each for Illinois (18-9, 10-6). Illinois moved into a five-way tie for second place in the Big Ten Conference.
Haanif Cheatham led Nebraska (7-20, 2-14) with 14 points. Dachon Burke Jr. scored 13 points and Yvan Ouedraogo and Thorir Thorbjarnarson had 11 each.
Nebraska was playing without second-leading scorer Cam Mack (12 points per game average), who missed the trip to Champaign with the flu.
Monday’s loss was a school-record 12th consecutive loss for the Cornhuskers.
The first half was close, but Illinois went on a 6-0 run capped by a 70-foot shot at the buzzer by Frazier that was all net. The Illini led 37-31 at the break.
Nebraska outscored Illinois 15-9 to open the second half and tied the game at 46 with 15:11 left. But Illinois used its athleticism and size to put together a 21-9 run to create a 10-point cushion the Cornhuskers couldn’t overcome.
Illinois was 28 of 71 from the field (29%), while Nebraska was 24 of 57 (42%).
Illinois had a tougher time than expected, but got the home win against a team they were expected to beat handily. The win keeps Illinois positioned for a post-season run.
Nebraska played well, especially in the first half, but couldn’t overcome Illinois’ talent, speed and defense. The loss of Mack was noticeable, despite a yeoman’s job by Burke.
Nebraska hosts No. 23 on Thursday.
Illinois hopes for another key conference win when it travels to last-place Northwestern on Thursday.