CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Jacob Grandison scored a career-high 20 points as short-handed No. 11 Illinois opened the season by rolling past Jackson State 71-47 on Tuesday night.

Grandison and Da’Monte Williams, both fifth-year seniors, were the only returning starters on the floor, but the Illini didn’t look out of sync.

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Sophomore Coleman Hawkins had a career-high 13 points and eight rebounds for the Illini.

Illinois guard Andre Curbelo was ruled out shortly before the game with an injury. Star center Kofi Cockburn (three-game suspension), Trent Frazier (shoulder) and Austin Hutcherson (tailbone) were also sidelined.

Hawkins, a forward, occasionally handled point guard duties in Curbelo’s absence.

He drilled a 3 to put the Illini up 21-2 midway through the first half off a Tigers mishap, one of 14 first-half turnovers that led to 13 points for Illinois.

Jayveous McKinnis and Jonas James scored 11 points apiece for Jackson State.

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Illinois showcased its depth while missing three likely starters in Cockburn, Curbelo and Frazier. Strong performances from Grandison and Hawkins bode well for a frontcourt that is unproven beyond Cockburn. The Illini held a 45-35 edge in rebounds while limiting the Tigers to 37.3% shooting.


Jackson State: At Louisiana Tech on Friday.

Illinois: Hosts Arkansas State on Friday.

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