ANN ARBOR, Michigan (Ticker) -- Brian Cook scored 26 points and Roger Powell added 18 as 16th-ranked Illinois edged Michigan, 82-79, for its seventh straight victory over its Big Ten Conference foe.
Illinois (20-5, 10-4 Big Ten) has won its last four games and reached 20 victories for the sixth time in seven seasons.
The Fighting Illini used an 11-1 run to grab a 75-70 advantage when Cook hit a 3-pointer with 5:11 remaining. Freshman Chris Hunter answered with consecutive three-point plays to give the Wolverines a 76-75 edge with 1:58 to play.
"We're coming in with better attitudes," Cook said. "This is the last go-around for the seniors and we want to go out in a big way."
Illinois went ahead for good, 77-76, on a jumper by freshman Dee Brown with 1:24 left. After a missed shot by Michigan freshman Daniel Horton, freshman James Augustine hit a layup to give the Illini a 79-76 lead with 36 seconds remaining.
"Dee likes the ball in his hand at the end of the game," Cook noted. "He doesn't shy away from the pressure situations."
Freshman Lester Abram had a chance to tie the score, but missed a 3-pointer with 19 seconds left and Powell made 1-of-2 free throws two seconds later.
"We just didn't get it done down the stretch," Abram said. "I thought we played hard enough to win. The 3-pointer was designed for LaVell (Blanchard), but I was open and took the shot. Last year four teams split for the title with 11 wins, we've got nine, we'll see what happens."
"For a bunch of young guys we showed a lot of poise, but the veterans also came through for us," Illinois coach Bill Self said. "We could've beaten a lot of teams on the road the way we played today because Michigan played a great game."
Illinois moved into a tie with Wisconsin for the lead in the Big Ten. Wisconsin visits Minnesota on Sunday and hosts the Illini on Wednesday. Illinois completes the regular season at home next weekend against Minnesota.
Blanchard scored 25 points and Abram added 16 for lead Michigan (16-11, 9-5), which lost its second straight and has lost 10 of the last 11 meetings with Illinois. The Wolverines had a 12-game home winning streak snapped.
Horton had 12 points, but made just 4-of-17 shots in 39 minutes. A candidate for Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Horton is shooting just 26 percent (13-of-50) in his last three games.
"I thought we played with a lot of heart," Michigan coach Tommy Amaker said. "Illinois may be the class of the league right now."