LINCOLN, Neb. -- Bo Spencer scored 27 points and Nebraska used a 36-4 run to roll over Illinois 80-57 Saturday.
The Cornhuskers (12-13, 4-10 Big Ten) snapped a four-game losing streak and sent the Illini (16-11, 5-9) to their fifth consecutive loss.
D.J. Richardson led Illinois with 15 points.
Nebraska jumped in front with a 17-2 run to close the first half. The Huskers held the Illini without a basket for more than 7 minutes and forced six turnovers.
The Nebraska spurt continued after intermission. The Huskers outscored Illinois 19-2 to open the second half, going up 52-28 on Mike Fox's 3-pointer with 14:33 remaining. Nebraska's biggest lead was 32 on Spencer's layup, which made the score 68-36 with 7 minutes left.
Nebraska made 56 percent (30 of 54) and outscored Illinois by 10 in the paint.
Northwestern has never made the NCAA tournament, but the Wildcats' upward trajectory suggests 2016-17 could finally be the season it happens.
Dillon Brooks, who led Oregon with 16.7 points per game last season, will opt out of the NBA draft process and return to the Ducks, a source told ESPN.
Mississippi State freshman guard Malik Newman will withdraw from the NBA draft, but sources told ESPN he might explore other opportunities besides returning to Mississippi State.