National Basketball Association
Illinois 90, Rutgers 68
When: 6:30 PM ET, Friday, March 12, 2021
Where: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana
# Steve McJunkins, # Kelly Pfeifer, # Paul Szelc
Ayo Dosunmu produced 23 points and six assists while Kofi Cockburn contributed 18 points and 12 rebounds as third-ranked Illinois earned a 90-68 win over Rutgers on Friday in a Big Ten tournament quarterfinal game at Indianapolis.
With their fifth consecutive win overall, the second-seeded Fighting Illini (21-6) advanced to a semifinal matchup with third-seeded Iowa after the Hawkeyes defeated sixth-seeded Wisconsin 62-57 in the quarterfinals.
Adam Miller also had 12 points for the Illini, who outscored Rutgers 46-36 in the paint and 15-6 from the 3-point arc.
Cockburn posted his 16th double-double of the season, helping Illinois avenge a 91-88 loss to the Scarlet Knights in December.
Ron Harper Jr. led seventh-seeded Rutgers (15-11) with 21 points, with Jacob Young adding 13 points and Geo Baker scoring 10 points.
Paul Mulcahy and Myles Johnson both fouled out for the Scarlet Knights, and teammate Caleb McConnell was ejected for a flagrant-2 foul in the second half after delivering a shot to the groin area of Illinois guard Andre Curbelo. Despite the loss, Rutgers is expected to hear its name on Selection Sunday and make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991.
Behind 14 points from Dosunmu, Illinois jumped to a 47-28 halftime lead. The Illini shot 54.8 percent from the field in the first half and were the more physical team, outrebounding Rutgers 22-8 and outscoring the Scarlet Knights 8-0 in second-chance points.
Up 17-13, Illinois went on an 8-0 run, taking a 25-13 lead on a fastbreak layup from Trent Frazier. From there, Illinois continued to build its lead, with a Frazier 3-pointer at the end of the first half putting the Illini up by 19.
Things didn't get much better in the second half for the Scarlet Knights. Rutgers cut the deficit to 59-46 with 12:31 remaining on an inside layup from Young, but Illinois went back to Dosunmu and Cockburn, who combined for all eight points during an 8-3 run that put Illinois up 67-49.
From there, Illinois extended its lead to as many as 28 points before bringing in its walk-ons in the closing minutes.
--Field Level Media
Top Game Performances
Ron Harper Jr. 21
Ayo Dosunmu 23
Jaden Jones 2
Ayo Dosunmu 6
Myles Johnson 5
Kofi Cockburn 12
Ron Harper Jr. 7
||Free Throws Made
Ayo Dosunmu 7
Ron Harper Jr. 3
Ayo Dosunmu 3
Geo Baker 1
Kofi Cockburn 1
Team Stats Summary