FULTON, Mo. -- The Eureka College men's basketball team will play its second road game in approximately 48 hours in the state of Missouri when the Red Devils visit Westminster Monday at 5 p.m. in Fulton, Mo. Monday's game is Eureka's final road contest of the 2016-17 regular season.
Eureka is 13-7 overall and 7-6 in the SLIAC, remaining in the hunt for its first SLIAC Tournament bid since the 2012-13 season. A victory on Monday in Fulton would give the Red Devils consecutive road victories for the first time since winning at Dominican (Ill.) and Knox in November.
Sophomore guard Shea Feehan continues to lead the Red Devils in scoring after a 22-point effort Saturday at Fontbonne. The Peoria, Ill. native averages 27.7 points per game, on pace to break EC's single-season scoring average record. Additionally, Feehan now ranks 10th on Eureka's single-season list for points scored with 554. Chris Peterson owns the single-season EC record for point scored, pouring in 653 points during the Red Devils' NAIA national title season in 1993-94.
The Red Devils have two other scorers to pour in at least 14.3 points per game in junior Kendall Davis (24.4 PPG) and sophomore Hank Thomas (14.3 PPG). One of Feehan, Davis and Thomas has led the Red Devils in scoring and scored at least 22 points in all 20 games each season. All three players shoot at least 45.2 percent from the floor, 43.1 percent from 3-point range and 85.4 percent from the foul line.
Eureka averages 92.2 points per game this season and is on pace to break the program's all-time record for team scoring average. The current record of 87.3 was set during the 1993-94 season.
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.
RED DEVILS BLITZ FONTBONNE
Eureka returned to the win column Saturday, earning its largest SLIAC victory in nearly four years in an 87-58 triumph over Fontbonne in St. Louis, Mo. Sophomores Shea Feehan and Hank Thomas scored 22 points apiece for the Red Devils.
The Red Devils never trailed Saturday and led for all but 130 first-half seconds. The visitors led by as many as 13 points in the frame before leading 39-27 at halftime. Fontbonne made back-to-back layups in the first 62 seconds of the second half to trim the visitors' lead to 41-31, but EC responded with a 21-11 burst over the next 8-minutes, 10-seconds to put the contest out of reach.
Thomas filled that stat sheet for the Red Devils, totaling 22 points, seven rebounds, six steals and five assists. He is the first Red Devil to lead the team in points, rebounds and assists since Kendall Davis in EC's Dec. 10 win over Principia.
Feehan added 22 points on an 8-for-12 effort from the floor. He made three 3-pointers to increase his season total to 79 and move into sole possession of seventh place on the program's single-season list for 3-pointer made. Davis added 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists.
Saturday's 29-point margin of victory was its largest in a league contest since winning at Principia, 86-54, on Feb. 16, 2013.
Westminster owns a 14-6 record and a 10-3 SLIAC mark to share first place with Greenville in the current conference standings. The Blue Jays have won nine of their last 11 games. WC has suffered only one home loss this season, a 118-113 defeat versus Greenville in a "system game" on Jan. 25.
Three juniors -- Romo Tabb, Sean O'Brien and Jimmy Villalobos -- score at least 12.8 points per game to lead a balanced WC offensive attack. Tabb leads the team with a 16.3 scoring average thanks to a 59 percent effort from the floor. O'Brien averages 15.9 points on 59 percent shooting and Villalobos shoots 43 percent from 3-point range to score 12.8 points per game.
Tabb is the Blue Jays' best rebounder, collecting 6.3 boards per game.
The Blue Jays boast one of the league's best defenses, limiting opponents to a league-low 73.3 points per game. WC also hold opponents to 43 percent shooting from the field and 33 percent shooting from long range, both marks being the lowest in the league. Additionally, Westminster's 9.2 steals per game rank second among SLIAC member schools.
Westminster is a charter member of the SLIAC. WC won at least a share of three consecutive regular-season league championships (2009-11) and has won four SLIAC Tournament championships, including the 2016 crown.
In all, the Blue Jays have qualified for 17 SLIAC Tournaments, tied with in-state rival Webster for most in league history. The Blue Jays have won 18 league tournament games, more than any school in SLIAC history.
ABOUT THE HEAD COACHES
Chip Wilde is in his 10th season directing the Red Devils. The Macomb, Ill. native has 117 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.
Matt Mitchell is currently in his 19th season directing the Blue Jays. The three-time SLIAC Coach of the Year has led WC to three SLIAC regular season championships, as well as the SLIAC Tournament titles in 2010, 2012 and 2016.
The Lexington, Mo. native played collegiately for Eddie Sutton and Nolan Richardson at Arkansas before earning his undergraduate degree from UA in 1987. He owns a master's degree from Western Illinois.
Mitchell, who worked alongside Eureka head coach Chip Wilde as assistants at Western Illinois during the 1988-89 season, also serves at WC's Senior Director of Athletic Advancement.
SERIES VERSUS WESTMINSTER
Monday's matchup is the 37th between Eureka and Westminster since 1988. The Blue Jays own a 22-14 lead in the series, including a 13-4 mark in Fulton. WC has won 10 of 11 games against Eureka in Fulton since becoming SLIAC rivals prior to the 2006-07 season.
Eureka has squared off against Westminster in three of its four SLIAC Tournament appearances.
The Blue Jays defeated the Red Devils for the tournament title in Fulton in 2010 and also eliminated EC in the semifinal round of the 2012 tournament in St. Louis, Mo. Eureka returned the favor with a semifinal win in 2013 in Louisville, Ky.
LAST TIME VERSUS WESTMINSTER
Shea Feehan scored 36 points and Sam Feehan added 23, but Westminster's Jimmy Villalobos hit a game-winning jumper with 0.5 seconds remaining to lift the Blue Jays to a 91-90 SLIAC win on Feb. 6, 2016 in Fulton.
The Red Devils battled back in the second half after heading to the locker room down 56-41. Back-to-back jumpers near the 8-minute mark by Shea Feehan gave the Red Devils their first lead of the second half and the two schools would go back and forth over the final minutes of play.
WC's Nick Carlos poured in 25 points to pace the Blue Jays, while Romo Tabb notched 19 points and nine rebounds for the hosts.
Eureka shot 54 percent (29-for-54) from the floor and 50 percent (11-for-22) from behind the 3-point line. The Blue Jays countered with a 50 percent effort from the field, hitting 35 of their 70 shots taken.
FOLLOW THE ACTION ONLINE
Links to a live video stream and live statistics be available at EurekaRedDevils.com, wcbluejays.com and sliac.org
The Eureka College media relations staff will provide updates throughout the game via Twitter at @EurekaGameDay.