The 7-foot-2, 290-pound big man also accidentally bonked referee Lewis Garrison on the head with his forearm while celebrating a potential three-point play late in the second half, sending the official to the floor.
Garrison was helped to his feet and left the game for precautionary X-rays at a hospital after getting cleared by medical staff on site.
“In that moment, we’re winning, we’re up, it’s just me being me, being passionate about the game and unfortunately I hit him,” Cockburn told the Chicago Tribune. “I went to see him after and told him I’m really sorry about it. He wasn’t really mad at me about it. I felt like I needed to tell him I’m sorry.”
Said Michigan Coach Juwan Howard: “[Cockburn] didn’t see him. He hit him in the back of his head. Doesn’t matter. If you have an official’s jersey or an opponent’s, I care about his health. As you can see, we had to finish the game with two referees. I just hope he’s okay.”
Wednesday night’s game was the 19th this season for Garrison, according to statistics kept by Ken Pomeroy. Last year, he was chosen to referee an NCAA tournament game for the first time.