No. 15 Illinois takes on No. 22 Ohio State after Cockburn’s 27-point performance

Ohio State Buckeyes (17-7, 10-5 Big Ten) at Illinois Fighting Illini (19-7, 12-4 Big Ten)

Champagne, Ill.; Thursday, 9 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: No. 15 Illinois hosts the No. 22 Ohio State Buckeyes after Kofi Cockburn scored 27 points in Illinois’ 79-74 win over the Ohio State Spartans Michigan.

The Fighting Illini are 11-2 at home. Illinois ranks fifth in the Big Ten in team defense, allowing 66.7 points while holding opponents to 40.6 percent shooting.

The Buckeyes are 10-5 in Big Ten play. Ohio State is averaging 74.2 points while outscoring opponents by 7.4 points per game.

The Fighting Illini and Buckeyes face off Thursday for the first time in conference this season.

TOP PERFORMERS: Cockburn is averaging 21.7 points per game and averaging 11.2 rebounds for the Fighting Illini. Alfonso Plummer is averaging 7.9 points and 1.5 rebounds over Illinois’ last 10 games.

EJ Liddell is averaging 19.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.4 blocks for the Buckeyes. Malaki Branham is averaging 9.0 points over Ohio State’s last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Fighting Illini: 6-4, averaged 70.1 points, 31.4 rebounds, 15.3 assists, 5.3 steals and 2.6 blocks per game while shooting 43.2 percent since ground. Their opponents are averaging 70.6 points per game.

Buckeyes: 7-3, averaging 72.3 points, 31.7 rebounds, 12.3 assists, 4.2 steals and 4.5 blocks per game while shooting 47.2 percent from the field. Their opponents average 61.7 points.

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The Associated Press created this story using technology provided by Data Skrive and data from Sportradar.

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