ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- The Eureka College men's basketball team will begin a five-day, three-game stretch that includes back-to-back road games in the state of Missouri when the Red Devils visit Fontbonne for a 3 p.m. tip-off Saturday in St. Louis, Mo.
Eureka is 12-7 overall and 6-6 against SLIAC opponents. The Red Devils have dropped two straight games to league opponents and will try to earn their first conference road victory since Jan. 9 when the ball goes up in St. Louis on Saturday.
Sophomore Shea Feehan puts up 28.0 points per game, on pace to break Eureka's single-season record for highest scoring average. Junior Kendall Davis is next, averaging 24.8 points per game, followed by sophomore Hank Thomas with 13.9 points per game.
The Red Devils ranks seventh in the country in scoring as a team, averaging 92.5 points in 19 outings this season. Eureka shoots 40.1 percent from the field, 19th-best in Division III, and makes 10.1 3-pointers per game, 20th-most in the country.
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.
WEBSTER ENDS EUREKA'S HOME WIN STREAK
Webster turned a one-point halftime advantage into an 88-77 SLIAC victory over the Red Devils, Wednesday night at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena. The defeat ended Eureka's 10-game home win streak.
Webster led 7-0 before two minutes were gone Wednesday. The Red Devils punched back with a 12-5 burst, tying the game 12-12 on Feehan's triple with 11:39 left before halftime. Eureka grabbed its first lead moments later when junior Kendall Davis (Peoria, Ill./Limestone H.S./Illinois Central) scored in the paint for a 14-12 advantage.
Eureka ultimately led by as many as five (27-22) after another 3 from Feehan, but the Gorloks carried a 30-29 advantage into the locker room after Jonathan Odjo connected from just inside the half-court line as the horn sounded for halftime.
The visitors led for the duration of the second half. Eureka used an 11-6 stretch to slice a 12-point deficit back to seven, 54-47, but the Gorloks scored on the ensuing trip and slowly extended their lead. Davis's 3-pointer pulled EC within single digits (79-70) with 68 seconds left, but the Gorloks made nine of their last 10 free throws from that point forward to keep the game out of Eureka's reach.
Feehan led all scorers with 31 points. He made eight 3-pointers, one shy of his career best. Davis contributed a double-double with 29 points and a career-high 15 rebounds.
All five WU starters scored at least 10 points, led by a team-high 22 from C.J. Moore. WU went 22-for-26 from the foul line and shot 59 percent from beyond the arc.
FEEHAN SETS FREE THROW RECORD, ENTERS 3-POINTER LIST
Shea Feehan made his 153rd free throw of the season in the final minute of Wednesday's contest, breaking Craig Negangard's NCAA Division III era (1978-present) record of 152 set during the 2003-04 campaign. Feehan ended the contest with 154 makes this season and now has 229 career free throws, moving ahead of Michael Sain (1979-83) for eighth place on Eureka's career list during the Division III era.
Feehan's 154 free throws this season are the most by an NCAA Division III players, according to the latest national statistic update on Feb. 2.
Additionally, the Peoria, Ill. native made eight 3-pointers Wednesday to move into the top 10 of Eureka's single-season list for 3-pointers made. Feehan has made 76 shots from beyond the arc this season, tying Tom Dooley's 1987-88 effort for seventh place on the list. Chris Peterson owns the EC record after making 145 3-pointers during the Red Devils' 1993-94 national championship season.
Fontbonne owns a 2-18 record and a 2-11 mark in the SLIAC. The Griffins will be in search of their first win on their home floor since beating MacMurray in overtime, 76-67, on Dec. 3. FU has dropped six in a row overall.
The Griffins are led in scoring by sophomore guard Kris McCann, who puts up 11.8 points per game in 17 appearances. Junior big man Jack Lake adds 11.3 points per game and gets a team-best 5.2 rebounds on average.
FU has been outscored by an average of 20.0 points per game this season. The Griffins rank last in the 10-team SLIAC in field goal percentage (.407), 3-point field goal percentage (.288) and free throw percentage (.603). Fontbonne also commits a league-worst 20.0 turnovers per game.
One of only four active charter members of the SLIAC, Fontbonne has won three regular-season SLIAC championships and five SLIAC Tournament crowns, including three in a row from 2007 through 2009. The Griffins did not qualify for the league postseason from 2010 until 2014 before advancing to the tournament championship game in 2015.
This season, the Griffins were picked last in a preseason SLIAC coaches' poll.
ABOUT THE HEAD COACHES
Chip Wilde is in his 10th season directing the Red Devils. The Macomb, Ill. native has 116 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.
Lance Thornhill, a longtime assistant coach to SLIAC legend Lee McKinney and the owner of two decades as an assistant on the FU bench, is in his second season as the Griffins' head coach. The Missouri State graduate is 10-35 overall since taking the reins of the program in 2015
In addition to his current men's basketball responsibilities, the St. Louis area native is a three-time SLIAC Coach of the Year as Fontbonne's men's golf head coach, directing the Griffins to league titles in 2002, 2004 and 2006.
SERIES VERSUS FONTBONNE
Fontbonne owns a 12-11 edge in the all-time series between the two schools that began with a 94-73 FU victory on Dec. 6, 2001 in St. Louis. The 2001 contest was the only non-conference meeting between the two schools
The Griffins are 11-11 against EC since the two schools began their annual home-and-home series in 2006. Included in that stretch was the 2007 SLIAC Tournament championship game, a contest FU needed overtime to win, 88-79, after Eureka erased a 14-point deficit in the final seven minutes of regulation.
LAST TIME VERSUS FONTBONNE
Behind 32 points from Kendall Davis, 25 points from Shea Feehan and a career-high 13 points off the bench from Jake Wood, Eureka earned a 98-78 SLIAC victory over Fontbonne, on Jan. 4 at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena.
Fontbonne led by as many as four points in the first 10 minutes of the Wednesday's bout before the Red Devils responded with a flurry. Feehan's layup with 10:22 left before halftime triggered a 17-2 blitz from the hosts that ended when Parker Gibson scored inside for a 30-19 lead at the 6:24 mark of the half.
The Griffins pulled back within 39-35 in the waning moments of the period before back-to-back baskets from Davis allowed the hosts to carry a 43-36 lead into the locker room.
Jeff Smith scored on Fontbonne's first trip after halftime to trail 43-38, but EC answered with an 11-2 burst for a 54-40 lead after three Feehan free throws. The Red Devils would go on to maintain the double-digit advantage for the remainder of the night. The final 20-point margin matched the hosts' biggest lead of the game.
Davis went 13-for-18 from the field to lead all scorers with 32 points. Feehan netted his 25 points on just eight field goal attempts thanks to a 16-for-17 effort from the free throw line. Wood needed only 12 minutes of action to get his career-high 13 points. Ryan McElmurry distributed a career-high seven assists and Alex Wiegand collected a game-high eight rebounds.
EC shot 53 percent from the field. Thirteen Red Devils saw the floor in the victory. Jeff Smith paced the Griffins, who received 52 of their 78 points from bench players.
FOLLOW THE ACTION ONLINE
Links to a live video stream and live statistics be available at EurekaRedDevils.com, fontbonnegriffins.com and sliac.org
The Eureka College media relations staff will provide updates throughout the game via Twitter at @EurekaGameDay.