CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Ayo Dosunmu didn’t play after going down with a facial injury at Michigan State but Adam Miller and Andre Curbelo more than made up for his absence against Nebraska Thursday night. The Illini freshmen combined to score 28 points, grab 16 rebounds and dish 8 assists in Illinois’ 86-70 win over the Huskers at State Farm Center.
Kofi Cockburn put up a game high 24 points in a tough, physical game with five technical fouls called between the two teams, all in the first half. Miller scored 16 out of his 18 total points in the first half, Jacob Grandison added 14 points and 7 rebounds. Curbelo was on a triple-double watch late, needing just two assists to accomplish the rare stat. He finished with 10 points, a career high 12 rebounds and 8 assists.
“Adam Miller, incredible first half,” Underwood said. “I think everybody can see what he can do when he has to step into that role.
“Really, really, really, really good basketball. I mean really good basketball. We knew what we had with those two, elite players.”
Seniors Trent Frazier, Da’Monte Williams and former manager turned walk-on Zach Griffith were recognized before the game, along with Dosunmu, who will declare for the NBA Draft after this season.
“I was just playing for them out there,” Curbelo said. “I wasn’t worried about my near triple-doublem, none of that. I was just worried about getting the W for my teammates, my Seniors, Ayo.”
Cockburn found his game in the second half after only scoring four in the first 20 minutes. The sophomore abused the rim all night with several highlight reel dunks.
“We did a better job of getting him the ball in the second half and we’ll continue to do that,” Underwood said. “Obviously doing back flips to see him go make his last eight free throws.”
Overall, the Illini looked like a completely different team than the one that played 48 hours ago in a loss at Michigan State.
“Walking out on to that court for that last time for a home game, it was incredible,” Frazier said. “To see my family on the zoom before the game for my Senior night. It was really special, just an unforgettable moment tonight.”