Ayo Dosunmu scored 18 points and freshman center Kofi Cockburn added 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Illini past Nebraska 71-59.
After a signature road win against then-No. 9 Penn State nearly a week ago, Illinois coach Brad Underwood was concerned about the let-down game.
All the pieces were there on Monday, playing a Nebraska team on an 11-game losing streak at home.
Instead, Illinois took care of business.
Trent Frazier and Andres Feliz added 11 points each for Illinois (18-9, 10-6). Illinois moved into a five-way tie for second place in the Big Ten Conference.
Haanif Cheatham led Nebraska (7-20, 2-14) with 14 points. Dachon Burke Jr. scored 13 points and Yvan Ouedraogo and Thorir Thorbjarnarson had 11 each.
Nebraska was playing without second-leading scorer Cam Mack (12 points per game average), who missed the trip to Champaign with the flu.
Monday’s loss was a school-record 12th consecutive loss for the Cornhuskers.
The first half was close, but Illinois went on a 6-0 run capped by a 70-foot shot at the buzzer by Frazier that was all net. The Illini led 37-31 at the break.
Nebraska outscored Illinois 15-9 to open the second half and tied the game at 46 with 15:11 left. But Illinois used its athleticism and size to put together a 21-9 run to create a 10-point cushion the Cornhuskers couldn’t overcome.
Illinois was 28 of 71 from the field (29%), while Nebraska was 24 of 57 (42%).
Illinois outrebounded the Cornhuskers 48-35, led by Cockburn’s 10 boards.
Illinois hopes for another key conference win when it travels to last-place Northwestern on Thursday.