(WSCR) – Illinois made the first half look easy against Northern Colorado, leading to their seventh straight win this season. Northern Colorado made a strong push during the second half, but Illini held on to an 86-76 victory.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) Mike Tisdale and D.J. Richardson scored 14 points each and Mike Davis added 12 to lead No. 16 Illinois past Northern Colorado 6-76 on Sunday.

The Illini (10-1) breezed through a comfortable first half and led by as many as 21 points in taking a 45-26 halftime lead in a quiet Assembly Hall. The building holds more than 16,600, but a snowy, windy day led to a crowd of just over 5,100.

Bill Cole’s 3-pointer with 1:20 to play in the first half gave Illinois the 21-point lead.

Northern Colorado closed 67-57 on three free throws by Devon Beitzel with 9:36 to play. But two 3s by Richardson put the Illini ahead 75-59 with just over seven minutes to play.

Neal Kingman led the Bears (4-4) with 21 points.

Updated December 12, 2010

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