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.

READ MORE: Former Chicago Bear Dan Hampton Faces Driving While Intoxicated Charge After Recent In Northwest Indiana

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.

READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Slight Warm Up On The Way

BIG PICTURE

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.

UP NEXT

Jackson State: At Louisiana Tech on Friday.

Illinois: Hosts Arkansas State on Friday.

MORE NEWS: Police: CTA Bus Driver Stabbed In Hand After Confronting Man Who Pickpocketed Woman In Old Town

(© Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)