MacMurray Hangs on to Beat Eureka, 77-76

Photo Courtesy of Michael Hammerstrand.
Photo Courtesy of Michael Hammerstrand.

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – The Eureka College men's basketball team overcame an 13-point deficit in Saturday's St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game at MacMurray, but MC scored the game-winning basket on a Brent Long putback with 12 seconds remaining to earn a 77-76 win over the Red Devils.

Facing a 69-64 deficit with 4:41 to play, Eureka scored eight of the next 10 points to claim a 72-71 lead on two free throws from sophomore guard Shea Feehan (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame H.S.) with 2:02 left. After trading single free throws on the ensuing three possessions, Feehan broke a 73-73 tie with a corner 3 at the 1:26 mark for a 76-73 advantage.

Eureka wouldn't score again. Long converted on the ensuing MC trip to make the deficit 76-75. After Eureka couldn't answer with a one-point lead, Long rebounded and delivered the go-ahead basket after Riley Spencer's miss with 16 seconds left.

The Red Devils had one final chance down one in the closing moments, but a 3-point try with four seconds to play was off the mark.

Eureka snagged a 13-11 lead midway through the first half, but the Highlanders controlled the remainder of the period. Two free throws from Tim Frazier gave the hosts a 33-22 lead with 1:52 left in the first period, MC's largest lead of the half. The MC lead was 38-33 at halftime.

MacMurray led by 13 points in the second half when Marshall Corbin hit a 3 for a 50-37 lead with 17:08 to play. Eureka slowly closed the gap and eventually pulled in front, 60-59, on a free throw from senior forward Parker Gibson (Pontiac, Ill./Pontiac H.S./St. John's Northwest Military Academy) with 6:38 left. The two squads went on to trade the lead five more times from that point forward, culminating with Long's game-winner in the closing seconds.

Junior guard Kendall Davis (Peoria, Ill./Limestone H.S./Illinois Central) had another big day for the Red Devils, scoring 35 points thanks in part to an 8-for-8 effort from the free throw line. Feehan added 20 points and 10 rebounds. The Red Devils committed only seven turnovers.

Four MC starters finished in double figures, led by 18 apiece from Frazier and Long.

Eureka will have approximately 48 hours to prepare for its next SLIAC road trip. The Red Devils will visit Webster Monday night in St. Louis for a 6 p.m. start. The contest was originally scheduled for last month but was postponed.