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DECATUR -- After taking a 21-point lead, the Millikin men's basketball team held off a late rally by Carroll University to win 57-54 Saturday. 

Millikin held a 25-19 advantage at halftime and started off the second half strong, pushing its lead out to 44-23 with just over 10 minutes left in the game.

Carroll then began to whittle away at the Millikin lead and pulled to within two at 52-50 with 1:58 remaining on a Tanner Zaeske layup.

The Big Blue used a free throw from Elijah Henry and two from Tyler Pygon to pull ahead 55-50 with 13 seconds remaining.

Carroll's Joel Heesch made it a 55-52 game.

After Millikin went one for two at the free throw line, Carroll's Ray Pierce made it a 56-54 game with one second left to play.

Michael Beaty hit one free throw with point six seconds left to secure the 57-54 Big Blue win.

"We definitely found the intensity we've been looking for this season," Millikin coach Mark Scherer said.

Millikin shot 43.5 percent from the field and went 5-17 (29 percent) from three-point range.

The Big Blue went 12-20 (60 percent) from the free throw line.

Carroll hit on 34.5 percent from the field and went 4-22 from three-point range. The Pioneers were 10-16 (62.5 percent) from the line. Carroll won the rebounding battle 36-32.

Sophomore Zach Fisher came off the Millikin bench to score a game high 19 points.

"Zach had his breakout game and performed outstandingly well," Scherer said. "He single-handedly broke Carroll's zone." 

Levi Laws, DeVante Harrell, Jordan Cunningham and Beaty each finished with eight points for Millikin.

Korbin Farmer had a team-high five rebounds and a career-high four blocks.

Joel Heesch led Carroll with 14 points and seven rebounds.

Millikin is now 5-3, 1-2 while Carroll falls to 2-4, 0-2.

After final exams this week, the Big Blue will return to action on December 17 at Westminster College.

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Sports Writer

Sports writer for the Herald & Review.

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