CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (Ticker) -- Dee Brown made sure Bruce Weber's first game coaching Illinois went smoothly.
Brown scored 15 of his 23 points in the first half as the 13th-ranked Illini jumped out to a big early lead and rolled to a 94-66 triumph over Western Illinois.
Roger Powell added 14 points and James Augustine 12 and 13 rebounds for Illinois (1-0), which won its fifth straight season opener and 86th of 99 all time.
Weber, who joined the Illini after five years at Southern Illinois following Bill Self's decision to take the Kansas job, became the ninth straight Illinois coach to win his debut with the program.
Illinois trailed, 3-2, before Deron Williams nailed a jumper 55 seconds into the contest that gave the team the lead for good. The basket commenced a 35-6 run that Augustine capped with a layup with 6:27 left in the half.
Nick Smith collected 13 points and seven rebounds off the bench for Illinois, which outrebounded its in-state foe, 44-31.
Doyle Cole scored 16 points and Bobby Carter chipped in 14 for Western Illinois (0-3), which slipped to 0-5 all time against the Illini.
T.J. Gray added 13 points for the Leathernecks, who shot just 38 percent (23-of-61) and allowed the Illini to connect on 52 percent (35-of-67).
The Illini played without Luther Head, Aaron Spears and freshman Richard McBride, who were suspended for violations of team rules.