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Kofi Cockburn scored 22 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, Trent Frazier added 21 points and Illinois pulled away in the second half to beat Purdue 79-62.

 

It’s another milestone victory for the resurgent Illini (14-5, 6-2 Big Ten), winners of five straight.

 

They’re off to their best conference start since 2005-06, ended a seven-game losing streak at Mackey Arena and swept the season series with Purdue for the first time since 2008-09.

 

Nojel Eastern had 14 points and Trevion Williams scored 12 to lead Purdue (10-9, 4-4), which has lost four of five and watched a 15-game winning streak in conference home games end.

 

The Illini swung the momentum quickly, opening the second half with seven straight points to erase a 30-29 halftime lead. Then, after making five straight baskets to make it 49-39 with 13:30 to play, they extended the margin to 60-45 on Giorgi Bezhanishvili’s 3-pointer with 8:27 left.

 

Ayo Dosunmu finished with 18 points and a career high 11 assists. Bezhanishvili had 10 points.

Matt Haarms had 10 points and six rebounds for Purdue.

 

Illinois guard Alan Griffin was ejected with 12:21 left in the first half for a flagrant 2 foul.

 

A replay review showed Griffin intentionally stomped on Stefanovic’s midsection after the Purdue guard had driven to the basket for a layup, bringing a crescendo of boos from the crowd. Stefanovic made one of two free throws for an unusual three-point play.

 

Illinois hits the road again Saturday when it heads to Michigan.

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