Freshman Kofi Cockburn leads Illinois men's basketball to upset of Michigan Wolverines, 71-62

Michigan’s Eli Brooks, right, looks to pass as Illinois’ Ayo Dosunmu defends in the second half Wednesday in Champaign, Ill. (AP photo)


Associated Press

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Kofi Cockburn got Michigan coach Juwan Howard’s attention.

The 7-foot Illinois freshman from Jamaica had 19 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks to help Illinois upset No. 5 Michigan 71-62 on Wednesday night.

“He’s very strong on the inside,” Michigan coach Juwan Howard said. “Very physical guy and one of the best offensive rebounders in NCAA basketball.”

Cockburn dominated from the opening tip, making two dunks that brought the crowd to its feet. Ayo Dosunmu added 14 points, Adres Feliz had 13 and Giorgi Bezhanishvili 12 for Illinois.

Jon Teske scored 16 points for Michigan. Eli Brooks and Isaiah Livers each had 12.

With about four minutes left, Cockburn hit a basket and was fouled. While celebrating, he inadvertently hit referee Lewis Garrison in the head and knocked him unconscious. Illinois spokesman Derrick Burson said Garrison was cleared on site by our doctors and taken to a hospital as a precaution.

“I’m a really emotional guy,” Cockburn said. We’ve lost the last couple of close games and that just me being passionate, I hit him and I feel bad. I went and told him after the game that I was sorry. He didn’t seem mad at me.”