CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (Ticker) -- Teams facing Illinois know they have to contend with Brian Cook. Now they will have to worry about Dee Brown, too.
Brown, a true freshman who has started every game at point guard, scored a season-high 25 points as the 14th-ranked Illini remained undefeated with an 80-68 triumph over intrastate rival Eastern Illinois.
Cook, a senior forward, added 21 points and Roger Powell 16 as the Illini (6-0) defeated the Panthers (3-5) for the sixth time in six all-time meetings.
Led by Henry Domercant, who scored 30 points, Eastern Illinois hung close for much of the contest. But after Jesse Mackinson, who contributed 12 points, nailed a jumper to get the Panthers within 51-45 with 14:45 to play, the Illini embarked on a 21-4 run that was capped by a 3-pointer by Brown with 6:25 remaining.
Brown made 10-of-14 attempts, Cook 8-of-12 and Powell 7-of-9 for the Illini, who shot 52 percent (32-of-62) and limited the Panthers to 44 percent (24-of-54).
Illinois connected on just 8-of-20 free throws while Eastern Illinois sank 16-of-23, but the Illini made eight 3-pointers - five alone by Brown - to the Panthers' four.
The Panthers, who lost their fifth straight road contest, fared better than last season, when the Illini manhandled them here, 93-53.