DECATUR -- The Millikin men's basketball team dropped a home contest to Elmhurst University, 76-64, at the Griswold Center.
The Big Blue recovered well after a cold start that kept them off the scoreboard for the first seven minutes of the game. Millikin battled back and were within one point of the Bluejays twice in the final minute of the first half before going to the locker room trailing 36-33.
The second half featured three ties and four lead changes. Jake Hampton's 3-pointer tied the game for the first time at 38-38 with 18:28 to play. The Big Blue pushed out to a 42-38 advantage before the Bluejays fought back to tie the game at 42-42.
A Scott Gown steal and layup gave Millikin a 46-45 lead with 13:02 left to play. Hunter Merritt answered for the Bluejays to put Elmhurst up 48-46. Cole Laurence would make a layup for Millikin to tie the game at 48-48. The Bluejays then went on a 9-2 run to push out to a 57-50 advantage with 8:32 remaining. Millikin could never get closer than four points over the final stretch of the contest.
Millikin (1-8) shot 37.5% (24-for-64) from the field and made 6-of-25 (24%) from 3-point range. Elmhurst (3-1) hit 54% (30-for-56) from the field and went 6-of-15 (40%) from 3-point land. The Bluejays out rebounded Millikin 38-31.
Jarius Ingram and Gowan led Millikin with 13 each. Laurence added 12.
Domonic Genco led Elmhurst with 22 points followed by Ocean Johnson with 17.
The two teams will play again on Saturday in Elmhurst at 2 p.m.
Millikin women 81, Elmhurst 55
The Millikin women's basketball team used a second half surge to defeat Elmhurst University 81-55 on Thursday in Elmhurst.
Millikin trailed 19-15 after the first quarter, but rallied in the second quarter to take a 32-27 lead at halftime. The Big Blue outscored Elmhurst 22-12 in the third quarter and 27-16 in the fourth quarter.
After making only 30% (6-for-18) of its shots in the first quarter, Millikin found its offensive rhythm going 6-for-12 in the second quarter and making 41% (9-for-22) in the third quarter. The Big Blue closed out the game strong hitting on 10-of-15 (67%) attempts from the field in the fourth quarter including making 3-for-6 from 3-point range. Millikin's largest lead of the game was 26 with 1:08 remaining in the game.
Millikin shot 46% (31-for-67) from the field for the game including going 9-for-19 (47%) from beyond the 3-point line. The Big Blue held Elmhurst to 34% (20-for-59) from the field. Elmhurst hit on 7-of-19 (37 percent) shots from 3-point range. Millikin forced 24 Elmhurst turnovers while committing 16. Millikin won the rebounding battle 38-37.
Millikin (6-3) had 13 players score in the game led by Jordan Hildebrand with 16 points and five rebounds. Natalie Snyder added 11 points. Elyce Knudsen had nine points and three assists. Bailey Coffman and Abby Ratsch each scored eight points.
Elena Cabrera led Elmhurst (2-7) with nine points followed by Courtney O'Donnell with eight points and nine rebounds.
The two teams play on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Griswold Center.