Malcolm Hill scored a career-high 34 points and had 11 rebounds, and Illinois never trailed in a 91-79 victory over South Dakota on Saturday.
Hill was 10 of 16 from the floor with four 3-pointers and had five assists. Jalen Coleman-Lands added 17 points with four 3s for Illinois (7-5).
Tre Burnette had a career-best 27 points on 10-of-17 shooting to lead South Dakota (7-5).
The Illini opened on a 14-0 run behind eight-straight defensive stops, and led 55-36 at the break.
Burnette made three 3-pointers and Trey Norris made a jumper during an 11-4 spurt to pull the Coyotes to 84-78 with two minutes left. Michael Finke answered with a 3-pointer, and Hill and Coleman-Lands each made a pair of free throws to seal it.
Illinois shot 47 percent on 14-of-30 shooting from beyond the arc.