DECATUR -- Elmhurst kept a lead for most of the game against the Millikin men's basketball team Wednesday and wouldn't let the Big Blue close the gap on the way to a 90-85 win.

After early Elmhurst leads, Millikin clawed back into the game and pulled within one at 28-27 with 3:42 left in the first half.

Elmhurst immediately answered with a 14-8 run to close out the half and went into the locker room at halftime up 42-35.

The second half was much of the same with the Bluejays holding the lead for the entire half despite several Big Blue runs.

Every time Millikin got close, the Bluejays had an answer.

Millikin trailed at one point by 15 in the second half, but pulled to within four at 79-75 with 3:04 left in the game.

"We started to identify an issue that we had a slow start and got behind early," Millikin coach Mark Scherer said. "We used a tremendous amount of energy digging ourselves out of a hole to come from behind." 

Millikin shot 56 percent from the field, but went 4-17 (23.5 percent) from three-point range.

Elmhurst hit 53 percent from the field, but connected on 11-20 (55 percent) from beyond the arc.

Millikin had three players score in double figures led by DeVante Harrell with 20 points. Elijah Henry had 19 points and a team high seven rebounds. Michael Beaty scored 17 points. Levi Laws had nine points and five assists.

"We have the potential to be a great team and I think what you are seeing is that this is a new program," Scherer said. "It is new to all of us and we have to get to know each other better."

Jeremy Ireland led Elmhurst with 25 points along with five rebounds. Jack Rhode scored 23 points including going 5-8 from three-point range. Ryan Patton added 17.

Millikin falls to 4-3, 0-2 while Elmhurst improves to 5-1, 2-0.

The Big Blue host Carroll University on Saturday at 7 p.m.

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Sports Writer

Sports writer for the Herald & Review.

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