LINCOLN, Neb. — Ayo Dosunmu scored the last 10 points in regulation for Illinois and the first five in overtime, allowing the sixth-ranked Fighting Illini to turn back Nebraska’s upset bid and win 77-72 on Friday night.
Dosunmu, who had 22 of his 31 points after halftime, tied it at 66 with his driving lay-in with 20 seconds left in regulation. Nebraska’s Trey McGowens failed to get a shot off at the buzzer, and Dosunmu opened overtime with a layup and 3-pointer to send Illinois to its fifth consecutive win.
Kofi Cockburn added 21 points and 13 rebounds for his 14th double-double of the season for the Illini (14-5, 10-3), who have their best Big Ten record after 13 games since the 2004-05 season.
Lat Mayen had 16 points, including a couple late 3-pointers, and Teddy Allen and Trey McGowens scored 15 apiece for the Cornhuskers. Nebraska (4-12, 0-9) lost its 26th straight against Big Ten opponents.
Illinois was a 14-point favorite, but this game was anything but easy. Nebraska led 64-58 with under three minutes left.
Dosunmu made two free throws, drove the length of the court for a layup and made two more free throws to tie it. After Dalano Banton scored with 37.8 seconds left to put Nebraska up, Dosunmu tied it with another layup.
Nebraska called a timeout and had a chance to win it on a final shot in regulation. McGowens got hung up between Trent Frazier and Dosunmu and couldn’t get off a decent shot, with Huskers coach Fred Hoiberg throwing his facemask to the floor in frustration.
Illinois: Dosunmu had been so-so for most of the game. But as elite players do, he stepped up when his team needed him most and sent Illinois to its fourth straight road win.
Nebraska: The Huskers played one of their best games at a point when they could have cashed in for the season. They are in the middle of a stretch of playing eight games in 14 days.
Illinois hosts Northwestern on Tuesday.
Nebraska visits Penn State on Sunday.