Eureka Falls Short at Principia, 93-86

Photo courtesy of Michael Hammerstrand.
Photo courtesy of Michael Hammerstrand.

 

ELSAH, Ill. -- Eureka College sophomore Hank Thomas (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods H.S.) put up 30 points and the Red Devils connected from beyond the arc 14 times, but Principia overcame EC's second-half rally and earned a 93-86 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win, Saturday afternoon at Hay Field House in Elsah, Ill.

Principia put the visitors on their heels early, racing to a 15-3 lead less than five minutes into the contest. Eureka promptly answered, using a 13-0 barrage to secure a 16-15 edge when freshman Jordan Dehm (Metamora, Ill./Metamora H.S.) hit a 3-pointer at the 12:27 mark of the period.

Eureka led by as many as four after a Thomas 3 pushed the Red Devils in front, 24-20. The score was later tied 30-30 before both teams traded 7-0 runs for a 37-37 deadlock with 3:21 remaining before halftime. The hosts ultimately carried a one-point lead, 45-44, into the locker room.

The Panthers extended their lead to seven, 65-58, near the midway point of the second half before the Red Devils rallied again. Eureka engineered an 14-6 burst, regaining the lead when sophomore Shea Feehan (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame H.S.) scored for a 72-71 advantage with 6:00 left.

An Alex Wiegand (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.) layup on the next possession pushed the Eureka lead to three, but the Panthers responded with seven consecutive points and wouldn't trail again. PC made seven of its last nine free throw attempts in the final 42 seconds to keep the Red Devils out of striking distance.

Thomas went 12-for-19 from the field and 6-for-10 from 3-point range to reach the 30-point plateau for the second time this month. Junior Kendall Davis (Peoria, Ill./Limestone H.S./Illinois Central) was next for EC with 16 points and Wiegand scored 13. Eureka logged 19 assists as a team, including a game-high six from junior guard Ryan McElmurry (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg H.S./Black Hawk).

Trevaughn Goodman scored 23 for Principia, one of four PC starters to score at least 14 points. The Panthers outrebounded the visitors, 40-33, and committed only eight turnovers.

Eureka will play five of its final seven regular-season games at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena, starting with an 8 p.m. tip-off Wednesday against Webster. The Red Devils beat the Gorloks in St. Louis on Jan. 9, 86-78.