No. 5 Illinois rides Kofi Cockburn past Nebraska

Kofi Cockburn scored a game-high 24 points and Andre Curbelo nearly collected a triple-double as No. 5 Illinois won in its first game without national Player of the Year candidate Ayo Dosunmu, dumping Nebraska 86-70 in a Big Ten Conference clash Thursday in Champaign, Ill.Adam Miller added 18 points for the Fighting Illini (17-6, 13-4), which maintained a grip on second place in the conference. Jacob Grandison contributed 14, while Curbelo stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, helping Illinois control the glass 43-29.Trey McGowens scored 18 points to pace the Cornhuskers (5-17, 1-14), playing their fourth game in eight days. Reserves Kobe Webster and Shamiel Stevenson each added 12, but Nebraska didn’t have enough firepower, even with Dosunmu on the shelf.The 6-5 Dosunmu suffered facial injuries in Tuesday night’s 81-72 upset loss at Michigan State when he absorbed a flagrant 2 foul late in the game. He is expected to miss 1 to 2 weeks, meaning he could be out until the Big Ten tourney next month.But the Illini had more than enough to handle the conference’s last-place squad. They never trailed, even though the game was close for about 25 minutes, and Illinois led by as many as 21 down the stretch.Curbelo played a bigger role with Dosunmu out. He tried unsuccessfully on several late-game possessions to notch another assist and get closer to 10 dimes needed for the triple-double, but Miller and multiple reserves came up empty in between a couple Curbelo turnovers.