Eureka Readies For Greenville Road Trip Wednesday

Courtesy of Michael Hammerstrand.
Courtesy of Michael Hammerstrand.

PDF Version of Eureka Game Notes

GREENVILLE, Ill. – Less than 48 hours after the Red Devils' first win at Webster in nearly five years, the Eureka College men's basketball team will visit another St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference power when EC takes on the Greenville Panthers at 8 p.m., Wednesday in Greenville, Ill.

AT A GLANCE

Date: Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017

Location: Greenville, Ill.

Site: H.J. Long Gymnasium (2,000)

Series Since 1974: Eureka leads 50-21

Series in Greenville Since 1974: Eureka leads 22-12

Last Meeting: Eureka won 115-113, Feb. 20, 2016 in Greenville, Ill.

Last 10 Meetings: Eureka leads 6-4

Current Streak: Eureka W1

Wilde vs. Greenville: 8-10

EUREKA RED DEVILS

Record: 9-3, 4-2 SLIAC

Head Coach: Chip Wilde, 10th season (Western Illinois '91)

GREENVILLE PANTHERS

Record: 10-3, 4-2 SLIAC

Head Coach: Dr. George Barber, 18th season (Asbury '86)

FOLLOW THE GAME

Live Video: CollegeTVTicket.com

Live Stats: athletics.greenville.edu

Twitter Updates: @EurekaGameDay, @GCPanthers

ABOUT EUREKA

The Red Devils have started the season 9-3 overall and 4-2 against SLIAC opponents. Eureka's 12-game start to the season remains the program's best since the 1993-94 NAIA national championship team started the campaign with a 10-2 mark.

Eureka's 4-2 SLIAC record is good enough for a three-way tie for third place with Greenville and Blackburn. The Red Devils, Panthers and Beavers trail current league co-leaders Iowa Wesleyan and Westminster by one game. Seven of the 10 SLIAC schools have a .500 league mark or better. Only the top four make the league's postseason tournament at the site of the regular-season SLIAC champion in late February.

Sophomore guard Shea Feehan delivers 28.7 points per game to lead an EC offense that ranks 12th in the country with 90.2 points per game. His teammate in the backcourt, Kendall Davis, ranks 12th among Division III players with a scoring average of 24.2. Feehan and Davis remain on pace to become top-scoring duo in single-season Eureka history.

Boosted by Feehan's 93-percent effort, the Red Devils' 77 percent team free throw percentage leads the SLIAC. Davis is next at 88 percent and sophomore guard Hank Thomas connects from the line at an 84 percent clip.

EC also paces the 10-team league in 3-point field goal percentage (.392), defensive rebounds per game (29.1) and fewest turnovers per game (10.6).

League coaches picked Eureka to finish eighth during a poll conducted before the start of the season.

The Red Devils return two full-time starters and 10 letterwinners overall from last season's team that went 12-13 overall and 10-8 in the SLIAC to tie for third place in the final league standings. Sixteen newcomers have joined the program, including nine first-year freshmen, to give EC a roster size of 26 student-athletes.

FEEHAN, THOMAS DRIVE RED DEVILS PAST WEBSTER

Shea Feehan scored 28 of his game-high 35 points before halftime and Hank Thomas hit three critical 3-pointers in the final four minutes, lifting the Red Devils to an 86-78 SLIAC win at Webster, Monday night in St. Louis, Mo.

The Red Devils led for much of the night, but trailed the hosts after back-to-back field goals from Xavier Dortch and Hunter Ward pushed the Gorloks to a 70-67 advantage with 6:29 to go.

Eureka answered with an 8-0 burst, pulling within a point on two free throws from Feehan and taking the lead for good when Thomas drilled 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions for a 75-70 lead with 3:23 remaining.

Four straight free throws from Brady Sanders and another triple from Thomas as the shot clock expired allowed the visitors to maintain a two-possession lead, 84-78, with 48 seconds left. Thomas iced the win with four more free throws in the final 30 seconds.

WE COULDN'T MISS

Eureka went a perfect 22-for-22 from the free throw line Monday at Webster, tying an identical 22-for-22 effort from King's (Pa.) against Delaware Valley on Jan. 4 for the most free throws without a miss by a team in a Division III game this season.

The Red Devils also fell just six makes shy of the single-game NCAA Division III record for most makes without a miss. Albany went 28-for-28 as a team against SUNY Potsdam on Feb. 19, 1994.

The 22 free throws marked Eureka's most makes without a miss of the Chip Wilde coaching era (2007-present), more than doubling the previous mark of nine set at Rose-Hulman on Dec. 15, 2011.

SANDERS EMERGES

Sophomore guard Brady Sanders earned his first collegiate start Monday at Webster. The Illinois Wesleyan made the most of it, knocking down four critical free throws in the game's final moments to secure the Red Devils' win.

The Minonk, Ill. native netted a career-high 12 points behind a 6-for-6 performance from the line on Monday. He also set or tied career-highs with seven rebounds, four assists and 36 minutes played.

ABOUT GREENVILLE

Greenville owns a 10-3 overall record and 4-2 mark in the league to share third place with Eureka and Blackburn.

The Panthers are in their second season utilizing "the system" made notable by Grinnell two decades ago. The strategy uses full-court pressure, quick offensive sets and frequent mass substitutions in an effort to create a frantic and unusual game tempo for the opponent.

Fifteen different Panthers have played in all 13 games this seaon, 11 of which have started at least one game. Senior forward Shane Smith scores 20.6 points per game, one of six Panthers to average double figures. Smith also hauls down a team-high 6.2 rebounds per game.

"The system" allows the Panthers to average 132.0 points per game, the most in Division III. The impressive offensive numbers go beyond the scoring average -- GC also leads the nation in offensive rebounds per game (20.0), steals per game (19.7), turnovers forced per game (29.0) and average turnover margin (+11.5).

On the other end of the floor, the Panthers allow their opponents to shoot 55.1 percent from the floor, the highest mark in Division III. The unique strategy also crushes GC on the glass to the tune of a negative-10.6 rebounding margin, 406th nationally out of 416 teams.

The Panthers received a first-place vote in a preseason SLIAC coaches' poll and were picked to finish fourth out of 10 league teams this season.

Greenville shared the SLIAC regular-season championship last season, the Panthers' first league title since 1996. GC, which dropped its SLIAC Tournament semifinal to Westminster a year ago, won its lone SLIAC Tournament crown as the field's fifth seed in 1998.

ABOUT THE HEAD COACHES

Chip Wilde is in his 10th season directing the Red Devils. The Macomb, Ill. native has 113 wins at EC, fourth-most in program history.

In all, Wilde has coached two SLIAC Players of the Year, 15 All-SLIAC selections, five SLIAC All-Tournament Team selections, four SLIAC All-Defensive Team picks and 29 SLIAC Player of the Week choices.

The 2016-17 season is Dr. George Barber's 18th as head coach at Greenville. The 1986 Asbury graduate also owns coaching experience at the NCAA Division I level and was an administrative assistant on Kentucky's 1996 national championship team.

Dr. Barber, who installed "the system" prior to the 2015-16 season, earned his first SLIAC Coach of the Year award in 2016. He is the Panthers' all-time leader in coaching victories with 223.

SERIES VERSUS GREENVILLE

Since joining Division III nearly four decades ago, Greenville has been Eureka's most common men's basketball opponent.

EC is 50-21 against the Panthers since 1974, including a 22-12 record in Greenville. The 50 wins against Greenville are the most by the Red Devils against any opponent since Dave Darnall arrived as head coach prior to the 1974-75 campaign.

Wednesday's game begins the 11th home-and-home series between EC and GC as SLIAC rivals. The two squads have split 20 contests in that time frame.

LAST TIME VERSUS GREENVILLE

Sam Feehan scored a season-high 37 points and Tommy Goulding poured in 25, lifting Eureka to a 115-113 SLIAC road victory over Greenville on Feb. 20, 2016. The 115 points scored were the most by the Red Devils during the Chip Wilde coaching era and the most overall since scoring 117 vs. Messenger on Nov. 23, 2002.

Parker Gibson added 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Greg Kent tallied 12 points and 13 rebounds for a pair of double-doubles. Eureka shot the ball efficiently, finishing 44-of-77 (.571) from the floor, including 66 points in the paint.

Six Panthers scored in double figures led by Michael Hohm with 24 points. Greenville fired 106 shots from the floor, hitting 40 of them.

FOLLOW THE ACTION ONLINE

Greenville will provide a live video broadcast of the game at CollegeTVTicket.com. GC will also provide live statistics at athletics.greenville.edu. Links to both services will be accessible through links available at EurekaRedDevils.com.

The Eureka College media relations staff will provide updates throughout the game via Twitter at @EurekaGameDay.