The Illini (8-3) never led in the second half until Demetri McCamey's three-point play with 35.6 seconds remaining made it 67-66. They had won their past four games.
Georgia (5-4), which stopped a two-game slide, committed 27 turnovers last year during a 34-point loss to Illinois in Chicago. The Bulldogs improved to 1-5 against the Illini.
McCamey scored 21 for Illinois, but he missed a runner with 6.6 seconds remaining and failed to hit the rim on a 25-foot 3-point attempt from the right side as time expired.