Illinois 60, Nebraska 49: Kendrick Nunn scored 13 points to lead a balanced scoring effort as the host Illini snapped the Cornhuskers' five-game winning streak.
Rayvonte Rice tallied 10 points, nine rebounds and four steals while Malcolm Hill also contributed 10 points for Illinois (16-12, 5-10 Big Ten), which won consecutive games for the first time since a four-game streak from Dec. 21-Jan. 4. The Illini, who also ended a five-game conference home losing streak - the longest in school history - forced 15 turnovers while holding Nebraska to a season-low point total.
Terran Petteway had 13 points to pace the Cornhuskers (16-11, 8-7 Big Ten), but the Big Ten's leading scorer went 5-of-18 from the field, including 1-of-6 beyond the arc. Nebraska, which went 100-for-137 from the foul line during its longest conference winning streak since 1999, settled for a 6-for-7 effort from the stripe on Wednesday.
Illinois held Petteway to two points on 1-of-9 shooting in the first half, but had to settle for a 27-24 lead at the break and appeared to be in trouble after Nebraska took a one-point lead after forcing center Nnanna Egwu to the bench with his third foul. Instead, Hill drained two of Illinois' five 3-pointers during a 23-9 run that gave the Illini their biggest lead of the game at 50-37 midway through the second half.
Petteway, who also missed his first four shots of the second half, rallied the Cornhuskers with a 3-pointer and driving layup in a 33-second span, but Nebraska could get no closer than eight thereafter when Egwu converted a layup and Hill drained four straight free throws. The victory allowed Illinois to move out of the conference basement and halt a stretch in which it had lost 10 of 12.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Illinois held its third straight opponent to fewer than 50 points. … Nebraska F Shavon Shields, who went 15-of-15 from the foul line and scored a career-high 33 points in the Cornhuskers' Feb. 12 victory over Illinois, made his only free throw and finished with eight points. … The Illini went 9-of-24 from beyond the arc - the most makes and attempts they have recorded in conference action.