ILL
GC

No Text

Cockburn leads way as Illinois holds off Grand Canyon 83-71

PHOENIX (AP) Illinois started its two-game desert road trip in one of the rowdiest environments in college basketball.

Grand Canyon's purple-clad ''Havocs'' spent the game bouncing, clapping and screaming, making it hard for the Illini to even hear each other during timeouts.

Illinois survived the road havoc and now faces another, potentially tougher one at Arizona's McKale Center.

Kofi Cockburn had 23 points and 14 rebounds, Andres Feliz added 21 points and Illinois pulled away late to beat Grand Canyon 83-61 Friday night.

''The homecourt atmosphere was everything it was rumored to be,'' Illinois coach Brad Underwood said. ''I told our players one of the advantages of a homecourt advantage is not only getting the home team ready, but they're so disruptive in terms of communication.''

Illinois (2-0) worked the ball inside to Cockburn early and that opened up the rest of the floor. The Illini led by four at halftime and stretched it to 14 with a big run to start the second half.

Riding the energy from one of college basketball's best home crowds, Grand Canyon (0-2) kept it close in the first half and made a late run to cut the Illini's lead to four.

Illinois kept the Antelopes at arm's length from there to open a two-game trip to the desert with a win before facing No. 21 Arizona on Sunday

Grand Canyon spread the floor to make a late run and made 8 of 19 from 3-point range.

The Antelopes were no match for the Illini inside, outrebounded 52-26 while giving up 15 second-chance points on 20 offensive rebounds. Illinois also had a 44-32 advantage in the paint.

Isiah Brown led Grand Canyon with 18 points and Jovan Blacksher Jr. added 14.

''Disappointed, but really proud of my guys,'' Grand Canyon coach Dan Majerle said. ''They played with a lot of passion and heart, they played hard. It was a big step up in what we played the first game.''

With 85% of their scoring back and a frenetic, turnover-producing defense, the Illini ratcheted up expectations entering their third season under Underwood.

Illinois instead got it off to an inauspicious start, needing overtime to beat Nicholls at home in its opener.

Grand Canyon got its seventh season under Majerle off to a shaky start, losing by 11 at home to Division II Davenport.

The Antelopes have their smallest team under Majerle, so it was no surprise they had trouble stopping Cockburn inside. The 7-foot Jamaican freshman powered his way past GCU defenders throughout the first half, scoring 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting and grabbing seven rebounds by halftime

''He's an imposing figure,'' Underwood said. ''We've got to take advantage of that and I thought tonight we did.''

When the Antelopes started closing in on Cockburn, Feliz took over, scoring 12 first-half points.

Grand Canyon kept pace from the 3-point arc, where it struggled in the opener. The Lopes made 5 of 9 in the first half - they were 2 for 19 against Davenport - to stay within 41-37 at halftime.

''I thought what did we needed to do early,'' Underwood said. ''We got a little bit sloppy at the end of the first half when we really had a chance to really take the next step.''

Illinois hit its first six shots to open the second half on a 15-4 run, pushing the lead to 56-41.

The Antelopes kept Illinois from running away with it, hanging around before trimming the lead to 71-67 with four minutes left.

Grand Canyon couldn't get any closer and had to play without Alessandro Lever after the center fouled out.

''Our guys expected to win this game, so there's a lot of disappointment in that locker room,'' Majerle said.

BIG PICTURE

Illinois played better than its opener and a solid tuneup for the more difficult game of the road trip, at No. 21 Arizona on Saturday.

Grand Canyon had its hands full with Illinois' size, but put up a better fight than it did in the opener.

FREE THROW WOES

Grand Canyon was good from the free throw line its opening loss, making 15 of 19. The Antelopes were not so good against Illinois, going 9 for 16.

''That's something we can control and we have to be better,'' Majerle said.

UP NEXT

Illinois plays at No. 21 Arizona on Sunday.

Grand Canyon hosts San Diego State on Wednesday.

---

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and http://www.twitter.com/AP-Top25

Copyright 2019 by STATS LLC and Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Defensive rebound by Andres Feliz 8.0
  Jovan Blacksher Jr. missed floating jump shot 10.0
+ 1 Ayo Dosunmu made 2nd of 2 free throws 18.0
+ 1 Ayo Dosunmu made 1st of 2 free throws 18.0
  Personal foul on Carlos Johnson 18.0
  Defensive rebound by Ayo Dosunmu 21.0
  Lorenzo Jenkins missed 3-pt. jump shot 23.0
+ 1 Andres Feliz made 2nd of 2 free throws 32.0
+ 1 Andres Feliz made 1st of 2 free throws 32.0
  Personal foul on Isiah Brown 32.0
  Defensive rebound by Kipper Nichols 34.0
Team Stats
Points 83 71
Field Goals 29-64 (45.3%) 27-61 (44.3%)
3-Pointers 4-13 (30.8%) 8-19 (42.1%)
Free Throws 21-30 (70.0%) 9-16 (56.3%)
Total Rebounds 52 26
Offensive 16 6
Defensive 30 17
Team 6 3
Assists 13 12
Steals 5 4
Blocks 0 0
Turnovers 17 11
Fouls 21 23
Technicals 0 0
23 PTS, 14 REB
18 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST
12T
away team logo Illinois 2-0 414283
home team logo Grand Canyon 0-2 373471
Team Stats
away team logo Illinois 2-0 81.4 PPG 45.6 RPG 15.2 APG
home team logo Grand Canyon 0-2 66.3 PPG 34.4 RPG 11.1 APG
Key Players
21
K. Cockburn C 15.4 PPG 10.5 RPG 0.8 APG 58.5 FG%
1
I. Brown G 11.6 PPG 4.6 RPG 1.8 APG 45.9 FG%
Top Scorers
K. Cockburn C 23 PTS 14 REB 0 AST
I. Brown G 18 PTS 6 REB 2 AST
45.3 FG% 44.3
30.8 3PT FG% 42.1
70.0 FT% 56.3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
K. Cockburn 23 14 0 8/12 0/0 7/13 4 21 1 0 4 6 8
A. Feliz 21 6 4 7/14 0/1 7/8 1 33 2 0 2 1 5
G. Bezhanishvili 9 6 2 3/5 0/0 3/5 5 17 0 0 2 4 2
A. Dosunmu 9 3 6 3/11 1/3 2/2 3 35 0 0 2 0 3
T. Frazier 8 3 1 3/6 0/1 2/2 4 31 0 0 1 0 3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
K. Cockburn 23 14 0 8/12 0/0 7/13 4 21 1 0 4 6 8
A. Feliz 21 6 4 7/14 0/1 7/8 1 33 2 0 2 1 5
G. Bezhanishvili 9 6 2 3/5 0/0 3/5 5 17 0 0 2 4 2
A. Dosunmu 9 3 6 3/11 1/3 2/2 3 35 0 0 2 0 3
T. Frazier 8 3 1 3/6 0/1 2/2 4 31 0 0 1 0 3
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
A. Griffin 11 3 0 4/9 3/7 0/0 0 18 0 0 1 1 2
D. Williams 2 7 0 1/4 0/1 0/0 1 27 1 0 1 2 5
T. Underwood 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0
K. Nichols 0 2 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 3 8 1 0 0 1 1
B. Bosmans-Verdonk 0 0 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 4 0 0 1 0 0
J. Hamlin 0 2 0 0/1 0/0 0/0 0 5 0 0 2 1 1
S. Oladimeji - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Grandison - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. Griffith - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Jones - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Hutcherson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 83 46 13 29/64 4/13 21/30 21 200 5 0 17 16 30
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
I. Brown 18 6 2 6/9 3/4 3/4 3 35 0 0 1 2 4
J. Blacksher Jr. 14 3 3 6/15 0/1 2/3 4 34 1 0 1 1 2
L. Jenkins 12 6 1 4/11 3/6 1/1 3 35 2 0 0 1 5
A. Lever 12 0 2 5/8 1/2 1/1 5 16 0 0 3 0 0
C. Johnson 5 4 3 2/10 1/5 0/2 5 40 1 0 1 0 4
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
I. Brown 18 6 2 6/9 3/4 3/4 3 35 0 0 1 2 4
J. Blacksher Jr. 14 3 3 6/15 0/1 2/3 4 34 1 0 1 1 2
L. Jenkins 12 6 1 4/11 3/6 1/1 3 35 2 0 0 1 5
A. Lever 12 0 2 5/8 1/2 1/1 5 16 0 0 3 0 0
C. Johnson 5 4 3 2/10 1/5 0/2 5 40 1 0 1 0 4
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Rhymes 9 3 1 4/6 0/1 1/3 1 27 0 0 3 1 2
L. Bangai 1 1 0 0/0 0/0 1/2 1 4 0 0 2 1 0
B. Okpoh 0 0 0 0/2 0/0 0/0 1 9 0 0 0 0 0
O. Frayer - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Fisher - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Dixon - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Gerdes - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. McGlothan - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Spry - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 71 23 12 27/61 8/19 9/16 23 200 4 0 11 6 17