Grandison leads short-handed No. 11 Illinois past Jackson St

Nov 9, 2021, 5:33 AM | Updated: 9:30 pm
Illinois' Da'Monte Williams surveys the court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball g...

Illinois' Da'Monte Williams surveys the court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Jackson State on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Michael Allio)

(AP Photo/Michael Allio)

              Illinois' Da'Monte Williams (20) holds the ball away from Jackson State's Dyllan Taylor during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Michael Allio)
            
              Illinois' Kofi Cockburn, not dressed for the game, watches as teammates warm up for an NCAA college basketball game against Jackson State on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Michael Allio)
            
              Jackson State's Darius Hicks (1) boxes out Illinois' Omar Payne on a free throw during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Michael Allio)
            
              Illinois' Da'Monte Williams surveys the court during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Jackson State on Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Michael Allio)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Jacob Grandison scored a career-high 20 points as short-handed No. 11 Illinois opened the season by rolling past Jackson State 71-47 on Tuesday night.

Grandison and Da’Monte Williams, both fifth-year seniors, were the only returning starters on the floor, but the Illini didn’t look out of sync.

Sophomore Coleman Hawkins had a career-high 13 points and eight rebounds for the Illini.

Illinois guard Andre Curbelo was ruled out shortly before the game with an injury. Star center Kofi Cockburn (three-game suspension), Trent Frazier (shoulder) and Austin Hutcherson (tailbone) were also sidelined.

“I knew we had a lot of scorers out, but my mentality wasn’t even to come in and score at all,” Grandison said. “It was to know my assignment on defense first, knowing the scouting report. I got in foul trouble early and I didn’t let that affect me.

“And I was just hooping.”

Hawkins, a forward, occasionally handled point guard duties in Curbelo’s absence.

He drilled a 3 to put the Illini up 21-2 midway through the first half off a Tigers mishap, one of 14 first-half turnovers that led to 13 points for Illinois.

“My expectation for Coleman is probably a lot higher than his is,” Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. “He has no idea how good he’s going to be.”

Underwood also praised the versatility of Grandison, who finished 7 of 10 from the floor, including 2 of 4 from 3-point range.

“Jake took over in a stretch, and you see what he’s added to his game with his off-the-bounce game,” Underwood said.

Jayveous McKinnis and Jonas James scored 11 points apiece for Jackson State.

BIG PICTURE

Illinois showcased its depth while missing three likely starters in Cockburn, Curbelo and Frazier. Strong performances from Grandison and Hawkins bode well for a frontcourt that is unproven beyond Cockburn. The Illini held a 45-35 edge in rebounds while limiting the Tigers to 37.3% shooting.

UP NEXT

Jackson State: At Louisiana Tech on Friday.

Illinois: Hosts Arkansas State on Friday.

___

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Perci Ami, left, of Laveen, Ariz., and Patty Talahongva show support for Brittney Griner, Thursday,...
Associated Press

Brittney Griner’s release celebrated by basketball world

Brittney Griner’s loved ones and extended basketball family were ecstatic when news broke Thursday about her release from a Russian prison and that she was on her way back to the United States. It has been nearly 300 days since the WNBA star was arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport in February, when customs officials said […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Youth hockey doctor faces more sex abuse charges

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. (AP) — A suburban Detroit doctor already jailed on criminal sexual conduct charges connected to his work with youth hockey organizations has been charged in two additional cases. Zvi Levran, 66, is accused of sexually assaulting a 30-year-old man in 2020 in Levran’s Farmington Hills home and a 14-year-old boy in 2018 […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

New Mexico State Police release fatal campus shooting video

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — State Police have released surveillance footage of last month’s fatal shooting on the University of New Mexico campus in Albuquerque that involved a basketball player from a rival school. Rooftop parking lot video released Tuesday by police showed that three people approached New Mexico State University junior forward Mike Peake, […]
1 day ago
Poland's Arkadiusz Milik, left, and France's Youssouf Fofana, right, fight for the ball during the ...
Associated Press

From serving pizzas, Fofona now delivering World Cup crosses

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — Youssouf Fofana has gone from serving pizzas to delivering crosses in the World Cup. Dropped in 2015 at age 14 from Clairefontaine, France’s national training center, his future in soccer seemed at an end. So he went to work for a pizzeria. “That was the best way to earn money […]
1 day ago
FILE - Phoenix Mercury center Brittney Griner sits during the first half of Game 2 of basketball's ...
Associated Press

WNBA star Brittney Griner a generational talent on the court

PHOENIX (AP) — WNBA star Brittney Griner’s 10-month imprisonment in Russia on drug charges came to an end on Thursday, spreading relief and joy across sports world and beyond. It’s unknown if and when she might return to a basketball court. But if she does, women’s basketball will get back a generational talent. On the […]
1 day ago
FILE - The Washington Commanders football team's name and logo is seen at the NFL football team's f...
Associated Press

House report: Snyder had role in ‘toxic’ Commanders culture

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Commanders created a “toxic work culture” for more than two decades, “ignoring and downplaying sexual misconduct” by men at the top levels of the organization, according to a report published Thursday by the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform. Commanders owner Dan Snyder was involved in the misconduct, according […]
1 day ago
Grandison leads short-handed No. 11 Illinois past Jackson St