CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (Ticker) -- Dee Brown scored 18 points and Roger Powell added 16 and a career-high 10 rebounds as 12th-ranked Illinois raced to a huge early lead and coasted past Mercer, 93-61.
Brown and Powell were two of five players in double figures for Illinois (2-0), whose two wins this season have been by a combined 60 points.
Bruce Weber, in his first season as coach of the Illini, saw his team race to a 25-5 lead midway through the first half and cruise to its third win in as many meetings with Mercer (1-3). Illinois also improved to 41-1 in its last 42 games at Assembly Hall.
Deron Williams chipped in a career-high 14 points, Nick Smith 13 and James Augustine 10 for the Illini, who should get a stiffer test Saturday at Temple.
Freshman guard Jacob Skogen scored 15 points off the bench and Scott Emerson added 14 for the Bears, who have dropped three in a row after opening the season with a win over Ohio.
Mercer was within 4-3 two minutes into the contest when a layup by Powell ignited a 21-2 burst. Brown hit two 3-pointers in the spurt and Smith had five points.
The Illini led by as many as 32 late in the half and were up 48-17 at the break.
The Bears shot just 26 percent (6-of-23) over the opening 20 minutes while Illinois converted 61 percent (19-of-31) of its attempts. The Fighting Illini made nearly as many 3-pointers (four) as Mercer did baskets.
Illinois was on cruise control in the second half, never letting Mercer get closer than 27 and never leading by more than 36.
Illinois, which has won 29 straight home games against non-conference opponents, held a 44-27 rebounding edge.
The Bears, who enjoyed a 17-game turnaround in 2002-03, are 0-3 all-time against teams from the Big Ten Conference.