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Plummer, Cockburn lead Illinois past Rutgers 86-51

Dec 3, 2021, 4:33 AM | Updated: 6:37 pm
Illinois' Alfonso Plummer (11) is defended by Rutgers' Caleb McConnell during the first half of an ...

Illinois' Alfonso Plummer (11) is defended by Rutgers' Caleb McConnell during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Michael Allio)

(AP Photo/Michael Allio)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Alfonso Plummer scored 24 points, Kofi Cockburn had a double-double and Illinois cruised to an 86-51 victory over Rutgers on Friday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams.

Cockburn, who came in leading the nation in scoring at 26.8 points per game, scored a season-low 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting and grabbed a season-high 15 rebounds. Jacob Grandison added 16 points for Illinois (6-2).

Hawkins hit a 3-pointer and then Williams hit another to gave Illinois the lead for good and spark a 16-2 run that made it 18-7 with 11 minutes left in the first half. Ron Harper Jr. answered with two free throws but Grandison had 10 points as the Illini scored 14 of the next 18 to make it 32-13 about five minutes later and Illinois led by double figures the rest of the way.

Jaden Jones led Rutgers (4-4) with 10 points. Harper, who went into the game leading the team in scoring at 16.1 points per game, finished with five points on 1-of-9 shooting.

The Scarlet Knights shot just 31% (21 of 68) from the field and made just 2 of 4 from the free-throw line.

Illinois made 32 of 66 (48%) overall, hit 12 3-pointers and outrebounded Rutgers 47-33.

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Plummer, Cockburn lead Illinois past Rutgers 86-51