Notes: Cockburn posts one other double-double in Illini win | Sports activities

LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska threw a large men’s cavalry into central Illinois at Kofi Cockburn Friday night.

It was everyone’s turn. Derrick Walker drew this supposedly short straw first. Then Yvan Ouedraogo. And Eduardo Andre.

No one could quite keep up with Cockburn from a physical standpoint. Few players can when it comes to the 7-foot, 285-pound Illinois sophomore. But the Cornhuskers trio held their own early and made life difficult for the great Illinois man.

“He’s a big guy,” said the 6-8, 232-pound walker. “I’m a little sore, but that comes with every game. I don’t think I’m crazy now. “

Nebraska hit Cockburn with the post. It was a focus of the Cornhuskers’ coaching team during the team’s four days of preparation before returning to the game earlier this month after its COVID-19 hiatus.

Tickets to Cockburn were a challenge. At least to start the game on Friday. The Illinois Center eventually rolled, ending with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

“Once we drove the ball and got a little movement, we could give him the ball,” said Brad Underwood, Illinois coach. “But give your defense a lot of credit for doing a good job on it.”

Nebraska’s coach Fred Hoiberg was delighted despite Cockburn adding another double-doubles to his season overall.

“Our greats, they fought the strongest man in our league,” said Hoiberg. “If you can do it against him, you should be able to do it against anyone.”

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Cockburn’s double-double against Nebraska was his 14th of the season and 11th in 13 Big Ten games. He only follows Austin Peay’s Austin Taylor for the NCAA lead after Taylor finished 15th on Thursday with 16 points and 11 rebounds in a 71:50 home win for the Governors against UT Martin.

The double-double on Friday night was also Cockburn’s 26th in just 50 career games.

“I’ll tell you what’s really impressive about that,” said Underwood. “It’s his first two years of college. It’s not someone who does it at the end of their career when they’ve been in the weight room and seen it all for two years. He does this as a freshman and in his sophomore year. He imposes his will and strength and scope and everything else on people and that over time makes you tired. Pretty impressive.”

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Newcomer Adam Miller was the second largest rebounder in Illinois Friday night in Nebraska. The 6-3 guard, who also fell 10 points in the win, hit the career high with seven rebounds against the Cornhuskers that he had reached last month in the loss to the state of Ohio. “We need him to recover,” said Underwood. “We knew they took a lot of threes, so we have a saying, ‘Long shots make long ricochets,’ and our guards have to chase after them. … He’s had seven rebounds and he’s capable of that every night. “

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However, the Nebraska that outperformed Illinois did not go well with Underwood. Even for the Cornhuskers it was only a 40-39 advantage on the boards.

“Lack of pursuit of the ball,” said Underwood, who decided the relaxing fight. “Lack of effort. Your wish was higher than ours. I don’t want to say I saw this coming, but I saw it coming. We were terrible in the shootaround (Friday). I really got involved with them. We didn’t train very well .

“It’s a mental thing with us that happens sometimes. It is not unusual. It happens to every team in the country. You look up and they lose a game they shouldn’t and you say, “Wow.” It’s usually an effort. I’m just looking at our rebound. When we’re overtaken, it’s usually because we’re not tracking the ball very well. “

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Underwood felt better about his team’s defense than about the rebound. At least someday. Illinois managed to get the stops it needed at the end of regulation to force overtime and then win the game in overtime.

That included the last game of the second half. Nebraska requested timeout to specifically develop a potential game that scores 66-66. Trey McGowens’ leaning, unbalanced attempt to get a good shot by no measure was not what Hoiberg was looking for.

The Nebraska coach’s reaction was to toss his mask on the court after McGowens’ shot didn’t even make it to the edge after Illinois security guard Ayo Dosunmu might get a finger or two on it.

“The lack of execution in this last game is extremely disappointing,” said Hoiberg. “Designing something that we think would have made us at least a good impression, winning a game like this and then going out and having some people in the wrong places, that’s the hard part. That will be the one who will definitely keep me busy. “

Dosunmu let out some emotion after spoiling McGowens’ potential game winner.

“That was just pure emotion, pure joy,” said the Illinois security guard. “I understand that the game is not going our way. We could have found ways to fold. We could have taken the easy way out and pointed our fingers, but we played on the track. That was a huge piece. I knew we only had five minutes left. I knew we were going to get it the way we played it on track and we did. “

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Underwood was feeling good enough defensively about his group he’d played on the track to keep them in play. Dosunmu played 42 minutes, Trent Frazier just behind with 41. Cockburn hit a season high of 39 minutes while Miller played 35 minutes and Da’Monte Williams 32 minutes off the bench.

“I wanted to ride these guys as hard as I could ride them,” Underwood said, admitting that he usually doesn’t handle his rotation that way. “We will distribute these minutes. I knew we weren’t keen and that was the group I would go with. … From that point of view, it was kind of a night without character. That won’t be the norm. “

Dosunmus 42 minutes was also a season high. Actually a career high. The Chicago native had played 40 minutes three times before, including overtime against Florida Atlantic in his first season, last year’s win against Iowa and last month’s loss in Maryland.

“I’ve found ways to dig deep,” said Dosunmu. “We play for so much at such a time. Our goals are so many. Fatigue is not something I thought of. That’s pretty mental. I said to myself, “Give all you have and get treatment after the game.” During this time, I didn’t think about fatigue. “

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