DECATUR — The Millikin men were struggling from the free-throw line Tuesday at home against Aurora University on Tuesday, but in the final minute it was a Big Blue free throw that sealed it.
Tyler Pygon's free throw with 0.3 seconds left gave the Big Blue a 72-70 win.
"I think our team continues to grow and the improvement this season is excellent," Millikin coach Mark Scherer said. "Tonight we had to adjust against a good Aurora team and had to go zone in the first half. I like the direction we're headed as a team."
The first half was all Millikin, which built a 37-28 advantage at the half.
But the Big Blue came out sluggish in the second half as Aurora opened with a 13-4 run to take grab the lead, 41-40, with 16 minutes remaining.
The next eight minutes were a back-and-forth contest before the Big Blue again pushed out to a 60-52 lead with 7:23 left in the game.
Millikin expanded the advantage to 10 points with three minutes left before the Spartans made one final run in the closing minutes.
The Big Blue struggled from the charity stripe, going 2-for-7 in the final two minutes, which let the Spartans hang close and a Matt Dunn 3-pointer made it 71-70 Millikin with 12 seconds left in the game.
Millikin shot 56.5 percent from the field and was 7-of-12 (58 percent) from 3-point range.
Aurora shot 43 percent from the field and went 11-of-35 (31 percent) from 3-point range.
Scherer was impressed with sophomore guard Zach Fisher's play.
"We got some important contributions on both ends of the court from (Zach), who scored 18 points and led a key charge with a minute to go," Scherer said.
DeVante Harrell added 15 points and six rebounds. Elijah Henry had 14 points and a team high eight rebounds.
Levi Laws had nine points, four rebounds and four assists. Pygon added nine points.
Marcus Myers led Aurora with 22 points. Ty Carlson added 13 and Max Vickers had 12.
Millikin improved to 6-4 while Aurora fell to 5-5.