No. 12 Illinois storms back in 2nd half to defeat Northwestern | Basketball | Sports

After heading into the half down 15 points, the No. 12 Illinois Fighting Illini dominated the second half to defeat the host Northwestern Wildcats 81-56 in Evanston, Ill.

The Fighting Illini (9-3, 5-1 Big Ten) outscored the Wildcats (6-4, 3-3) 53-13 in the second half, including a 17-0 run over six-and-a-half minutes in the middle of the second half to go from down 48-41 to up 58-48.

Illinois shot 59.4 percent in the second half, while Northwestern nailed only two of its 24 shots to go 8.3 percent from the field. The Wildcats had nine turnovers in the half.

Kofi Cockburn led the second-half charge, compiling a double-double in the half alone, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. He finished with 18 points on 8-for-9 shooting and 12 rebounds.

Ayo Dosunmu had 15 points, six assists and five rebounds while Trent Frazier and Adam Miller both had 14 points.

The first half was much more balanced, with both teams trading baskets for the most of the first fifteen minutes. But over the final five minutes, the Wildcats pulled away.

Northwestern went on a 12-0 run to go up by 16 right before the end of the half. A singular Giorgi Bezhanishvili free throw before the buzzer put the halftime deficit for the Fighting Illini at 43-28.

The Wildcats hit 16 of their 31 shots in the half.

Illinois opened the second half with eight straight points, forcing a Northwestern timeout. After both teams scored five points each, the Fighting Illini went on their 17-0 run.

Five different players scored during the streak, with Cockburn leading the way with three layups.

Northwestern did not hit a single field goal in the final seven-and-a-half minutes, with Robbie Beran hitting the only two field goals of the second half.

Beran led Northwestern with 11 points, while Boo Buie failed to score for the second consecutive game.

–Field Level Media

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