CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Top-ranked Illinois rolled to a quarterfinal victory over Northwestern in the Big Ten Conference tournament, but not all the news was good for the Fighting Illini.
James Augustine scored 15 points in a 68-51 triumph, after which Illinois coach Bruce Weber learned his mother, Dawn, had been transported to a local hospital to undergo surgery for treatment of a serious heart condition.
Dawn Weber, who experienced a rupture of the descending aorta, died at 6 p.m. local time.
Augustine, who scored the Illini's final seven points in Sunday's 65-64 loss to Ohio State, a defeat that prevented the first perfect regular season in the conference in 29 years, carried his momentum into this one, shooting 6-of-8 from the floor and grabbing eight rebounds.
Luther Head, who scored 14 points, hit a 3-pointer with 5:55 remaining to give Illinois (30-1) its biggest lead at 61-36.
Deron Williams and Dee Brown, who recently was named conference player of the year, combined for 14 assists as the Fighting Illini had 20 assists on 25 baskets. The most spectacular assist came from Brown, who passed off the backboard to Williams, who completed the play for two of his eight points with 9:04 left.
Mohamed Hachad scored a career-high 23 points for Northwestern (15-16), which trailed, 38-22, at halftime.
Illinois will face Minnesota in the semifinals on Saturday.