University of Illinois

With Cockburn Out, No. 17 Illinois Falls 81-65 to Maryland

The Terps are 4-0 at home against the Illini since joining the Big Ten.

Donta Scott scored a career-high 25 points and Maryland took advantage of Kofi Cockburn’s absence in an 81-65 victory over No. 17 Illinois on Friday night.

Cockburn was out with a concussion, and the Illini (13-5, 6-2 Big Ten) lost for the second consecutive game after winning six straight. It was a much-needed victory for Maryland, which has struggled all season and already went through a coaching change when Mark Turgeon exited in early December.

Alfonso Plummer scored 18 points for Illinois, which was coming off a double-overtime loss to No. 4 Purdue on Monday night. The Illini got Andre Curbelo back in that game after he’d been out since November with his own concussion-related issues. Then they had to face Maryland (10-9, 2-6) without Cockburn, their star big man.

Illinois has not won at Maryland since 2011. The Terps are 4-0 at home against the Illini since joining the Big Ten.

This loss also snapped a six-game winning streak for Illinois in Big Ten road games.

The Illini led 56-52 before Maryland took the lead with a 12-2 run. Scott capped that stretch with a layup and a three-point play.

Fatts Russell had 15 points for the Terps and Qudus Wahab added 11.

BIG PICTURE

Illinois: The Illini can’t seem to get all their top players on the court for very long. They lost to Marquette earlier this season without Cockburn, and their inability to beat a Maryland team near the bottom of the conference standings showed how valuable he is.

Maryland: The Terrapins have taken their lumps under interim coach Danny Manning, but they deserved this win, and an 11-0 run to finish the game felt a bit cathartic for the home crowd.

UP NEXT

Illinois: The Illini host No. 14 Michigan State on Tuesday night.

Maryland: The Terps play at Rutgers on Tuesday night. The Scarlet Knights beat Maryland 70-59 last Saturday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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