Paris Lee scored 14 points, Deontae Hawkins added 13 and Illinois State jumped out early and cruised to a 64-50 victory over Bradley on Saturday night.
The Redbirds (21-5, 13-1 Missouri Valley) have won two straight since an 86-45 loss at Wichita State on Feb. 4, and pulled a half-game ahead of the Shockers atop the conference standings. Bradley (9-18, 4-10) has lost eight of its last nine games.
Phil Fayne chipped in 11 points for Illinois State.
The Redbirds started the game on a 13-1 run, led 32-15 at halftime and had a double-digit lead the rest of the way. The Braves shot just 6 of 25 (24 percent) from the field, including 1 of 10 from long range in the first half.
Jayden Hodgson and JoJo McGlaston scored 11 points apiece to lead Bradley, which pulled to 58-48 with 2:37 left but didn't get closer.
>>Penn State Rolls Illinois
Penn State picked up their first win in Champaign in eight years when they beat Illinois 83-70 Saturday.
Payton Banks tied his career-high with 24 points and Penn State won its third straight against the Illini for the first time since the series started in 1990.
Malcolm Hill led the way for Illinois (14-12, 4-9 Big Ten) with 14 points.
Illinois finished with 14 turnovers, including two in the first four possessions of the game.
Illinois has a week to plan for its Saturday matchup at Iowa.