EUREKA, Ill. -- The Eureka College men's basketball team will play the middle game of a three-game, six-day homestand Tuesday when NAIA Division II Lincoln Christian travels to Eureka for a 7:30 p.m. matchup with the Red Devils at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena. The game is Eureka's last against a non-conference opponent in the regular season.
The Red Devils are 10-5 overall and 6-0 on Dave Darnall Court this season. EC has won eight straight home games overall and six consecutive home games versus non-conference opponents. Eureka hasn't dropped a non-conference game at home since a 90-86 setback versus Monmouth on Dec. 31, 2014.
EC put up 101 points in Saturday's win over Blackburn, increasing its season scoring average to 93.3, sixth-most in NCAA Division III. Not only do the Red Devils rank among the national team scoring leaders, Eureka is one of the most accurate shooting teams nationally. EC ranks in the Division III top 50 in free throw percentage (.776, 14th), 3-point field goal percentage (.394, 27th) and field goal percentage (.480, 37th).
In addition to the offensive marks, Eureka collects 29.9 defensive rebounds per game, 26th most in Division III.
Sophomore guard Shea Feehan pours in 28.8 points per game, trailing only Ripon's Ty Sabin (29.7) among the national scoring leaders. Following his 16-for-16 performance at the free throw line on Saturday, Feehan is the new national leader in free throws made with 136. He needs 17 more free throws to break Eureka's single-season record for free throws made.
Feehan shoots 93 percent from the free throw line, fifth-best nationally. Junior Kendall Davis also remains in the top 10 in national scoring, putting up 24.3 points per game to rank ninth.
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, RED DEVILS SHOOT DOWN BLACKBURN
Shea Feehan delivered his third consecutive double-double with 39 points and 12 rebounds, including a 16-for-16 effort from the free throw line, leading the Red Devils to a 101-83 SLIAC victory over Blackburn, Saturday night at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena.
The Red Devils never trailed in the second half. Feehan's 4-point play with 17:05 to go pushed the Eureka lead to 10, 57-47. Blackburn pushed back by scoring 18 of the next 29 points to trail 68-65 after a layup by Tommy Childs, but Eureka withstood the charge and promptly regained the double-digit advantage when Feehan connected from 3 for a 77-65 cushion with 10:12 left.
The EC advantage swelled to as many as 20 when Feehan's lay-in in allowed the Red Devils to hit the century mark for a 101-81 lead in the final minute.
Feehan fell one point short of matching a career-high in scoring. His 16-for-16 effort from the foul line marked the most free throws made in an NCAA Division III game without a miss this season, equaling the same 16-for-16 performance by Matt Jones from Trinity (Texas) on Dec. 17 versus Berry. Feehan also hauled down 12 rebounds, a new career high.
Kendall Davis also provided a big offensive performance, pouring in 24 points. Alex Wiegand tied personal best with 17 points. He was 8-for-10 from the floor. As a team, Eureka shot a season-high 58 percent.
ABOUT LINCOLN CHRISTIAN
Lincoln Christian is 4-16 overall. The Red Lions are winless on the road, having lost all eight true road games this season.
The Red Lions will try to put an end to a four-game losing streak Tuesday night. LCU hasn't won since a 69-51 triumph versus the St. Louis College of Pharmacy on Jan. 10. LCU scores 71.1 points per game but allows an average of 88.8 points per contest. Lincoln Christian is also outrebounded by an average of 8.9 rebounds per game.
Eureka and Lincoln Christian have one common opponent this season. The Red Lions dropped a 178-125 decision in a "system" game at Greenville on Nov. 22. LCU owns one victory over an NCAA Division III opponent this season, defeating Maranatha Baptist 75-73 on Nov. 29.
Zach Thompson, a sophomore from Normal, Ill., leads the LCU offense with a scoring average of 23.9 points per game. He shoots 53 percent (180-for-339) from the field and 41 percent (39-for-95) from 3-point range. Thompson is also the top LCU rebounder with 7.7 boards per contest. He has started all 20 games this season.
Garrett Aeilts, son of first-year LCU head coach Donny Aeilts, averages 13.2 points per contest and has distributed a team-high 68 assists.
LCU went 9-19 a year ago, including a 4-8 mark on the road.
Lincoln Christian joined NAIA Division II in August 2014. The Red Lions also retained membership in the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association (NCCAA)
ABOUT THE HEAD COACHES
Chip Wilde is in his 10th season directing the Red Devils. The Macomb, Ill. native has 114 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.
Following a three-year stint as associate head coach, Donny Aeilts is in his first season as head coach of the Red Lions. The Lincoln, Ill. native owns more than two decades of experience as a coach, including 15 seasons as the boys basketball coach at Lincoln Middle School.
Aeilts played basketball and baseball for two years at Lincoln College before earning a baseball scholarship at Division I Western Illinois, where he finished his college career and earned his degree.
SERIES VERSUS LINCOLN CHRISTIAN
Eureka has won 22 of 24 games against Lincoln Christian since 1974. The Red Devils are 12-0 against the Red Lions in that time frame inside the Reagan Athletic Complex, including a 75-37 win on Feb. 16, 2015.
The Red Devils' .917 win percentage against Lincoln Christian since 1974 is their highest against an opponent that has played EC at least 20 times in that time frame.
LAST TIME VERSUS LINCOLN CHRISTIAN
Cody Behrens scored 14 points, one of three Red Devils to reach double figures, leading the Red Devils to a 75-37 victory over Lincoln Christian at the Reagan Athletic Complex on Feb. 16, 2015.
The Red Devils yielded the first basket of the game before answering with 10 unanswered points. EC wouldn't trail again. The halftime lead was 45-17.
Seth Wickert scored 12 points and Ian Saathoff added 10.
Thirteen different Red Devils made an appearance, including current players Chet Griffith, Parker Gibson and Austin Ahnafield. All three players made at least one field goal and Gibson added four rebounds and a pair of assists.
LCU shot just 21 percent (13-for-61) from the field and 12 percent (3-for-26) from beyond the arc. Michael Fisher and Anthony Rush scored eight points apiece.
FOLLOW THE ACTION ONLINE
Eureka will provide a live video broadcast via its YouTube channel. Live statistics will also be available at EurekaRedDevils.com.
The Eureka College media relations staff will provide updates throughout the game via Twitter at @EurekaGameDay.