Andre Curbelo shines in return, but No. 17 Illini fall in double OT against No. 4 Purdue
Curbelo scored 20 points in his first game since before Thanksgiving
CHAMPAIGN (Heart of Illinois ABC) - Illinois vs. Purdue was billed to be on the marquee matchups of the Big Ten season and despite starting at 11:00 a.m. on a Monday morning, it more than lived up to the hype. A back-and-forth battle from the very beginning, the No. 4 Boilermakers had the last laugh inside State Farmer as Purdue topped the Illini 96-88 in double overtime.
Aside from being an impactful game on the Big Ten championship race, the game was also big for the Illini in that it marked the return of point guard Andre Curbelo who hadn’t played since Nov. 23 against Kansas State. The sophomore shined in his return to the floor as he poured in 20 points in just 25 minutes of play, including the shot that sent the game to the first overtime period and the assist that sent it to its second.
The Illini could not, however, take advantage of Curbelo’s brilliance thanks to foul trouble for Kofi Cockburn. The All-American big man was limited to just 10 points in 22 minutes of action, sitting much of the second half after picking up his fourth foul early in the period and later fouling out early in overtime.
The Boilermakers, on the other hand, got a big game from their 7-foot-4 big fella, Zach Edey, who scored 20 points. Edey was one of five double figure scorers for Purdue.
Alfonso Plummer was the high man on the day for Illinois with 24 points. The Illini now turn their attention to a road game at Maryland on Friday night.
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