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Cockburn’s return helps No. 24 Illinois hold off Northwestern, 59-56

Illinois center Kofi Cockburn, center, drives to the basket against Northwestern guard Chase Audige, left, and forward Robbie Beran during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Evanston, Ill., Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022.

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Kofi Cockburn returned from a concussion and scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead No. 24 Illinois to a 59-56 victory over Northwestern.

Cockburn hit 10 of 17 shots and Illinois (15-5, 8-2 Big Ten) turned to Cockburn down the stretch. He scored 14 points in the second half.

He tied the game with a short bucket with 2:25 to play and guard Da’Monte Williams’ follow dunk gave Illinois a 55-53 lead with 1:34 to play.

Pete Nance led Northwestern (9-10, 2-8 Big Ten) with 21 points.

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Associated Press

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