EUREKA, Ill. -- Eureka College seniors Parker Gibson and Nate Bell will play their final collegiate games Saturday during Senior Day when the Red Devils host Iowa Wesleyan for a 3 p.m. St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tip-off at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena. Gibson and Bell will be recognized during a pregame ceremony.
Eureka will enter the final game of the 2016-17 season with a 13-11 overall record and a 7-10 mark against league opponents. The Red Devils are guaranteed to finish the campaign with a winning record for the first time since the 2012-13 campaign.
The Red Devils will try to end the season on a high note after dropping each of their last four contests. Despite the recent struggles, EC is still in line to win at least nine home games in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 2011-12 and 2012-13 teams combined to post a 20-4 home record over two seasons.
Eureka is the SLIAC's top free throw shooting team, connecting from the line at a clip of 76.7 percent. That mark ranks 18th nationally out of 416 Division III teams. The Red Devils also lead the SLIAC with 29.8 defensive rebounds per game and rank 38th in the country with 16.5 assists per game.
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 HITS 600
Shea Feehan's jumper with 12:34 left in the second half of Wednesday's game against Westminster gave him 600 points for the season, joining 1993-94 teammates Chris Peterson (653), Troy Tyler (613) and Chris Eaton (610) as the only players in the 98-year history of Eureka men's basketball to reach 600 points in a season.
Feehan has a 26.3 scoring average with one game remaining. Even if held scoreless in Saturday's season finale, Feehan's 2016-17 scoring average will not dip below the single-season Eureka record of 22.1 set by Feehan and his brother Sam a year ago.
The Peoria Notre Dame graduate has already broken the Red Devils' NCAA Division III era single-season record for free throws made with 167. His season free throw percentage .933 will likely break Mike Sain's 34-year-old record of .917 set during the 1982-83 campaign.
TEAM SCORING RECORD
Eureka will assuredly break the program's single-season record for team points per game on Saturday. The Red Devils average 90.8 points per game and are on track to break the Eureka record of 87.3 set during the 1993-94 national-championship season.
The Red Devils are 13-5 this season when scoring at least 80 points. EC has scored 90 points or more 11 times in 2016-17 and has eclipsed the century mark five times.
RED DEVILS FALL TO WESTMINSTER WEDNESDAY
Shea Feehan led the Red Devils with 17 points, but Westminster pulled even with Greenville atop the SLIAC standings with an 83-57 league win over the Red Devils, Wednesday night at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena.
The Red Devils jumped out to 12-7 lead less than five minutes into Wednesday's game. EC led by five again as late as the 9:48 mark of the first period when Ryan McElmurry scored for a 23-18 advantage, but the Blue Jays answered with eight in a row and eventually extended their lead to 37-26 at halftime.
A Hank Thomas 3-pointer just 40 seconds into the second period pulled EC within 39-31, but Westminster was able to maintain a double-digit advantage for the remainder of the contest.
Kendall Davis joined Feehan in double figures with 10 points. Davis closed Wednesday's game with 561 points this season. He needs three more points to crack Eureka's single-season top-10 list.
ABOUT IOWA WESLEYAN
Iowa Wesleyan is 16-8 overall and 12-5 in the SLIAC. IWU has won three of its last four outings, including a 71-70 SLIAC road win at Webster on Feb. 4.
Senior guard Steven Soukup averages 26.0 points per game, second in the SLIAC only to Eureka's Shea Feehan. Soukup shoots 61.4 percent from the floor and 40.2 percent from beyond the arc. Junior guard Brock Butler adds 16.4 points on average and junior forward Mitch Drey chips in with 12.0 points per game. In all, six Tigers that have appeared in at least 11 contests average double-figure scoring production.
The Tigers showcase a high-powered offensive attack that puts up 93.0 points per game, second in the SLIAC only to Greenville and the Panthers' "system" offense. IWU shoots a league-best 52 percent from the field, 41 percent from 3-point range and gets to the free throw line for 17.3 makes per game. IWU also commits a league-low 12.0 turnovers per contest.
The Tigers are ineligible for the NCAA and SLIAC postseasons due to their provisional status as a member of Division III. The 2016-17 season is IWU's final provisional season as its completes its transition from NAIA to NCAA Division III.
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.
Former Upper Iowa assistant Alex Huisman is in his third season as head coach at Iowa Wesleyan. The 2011 UIU graduate owns a 41-23 record with the Tigers.
Huisman served Upper Iowa as a men's basketball graduate assistant for two seasons before jumping across the state to be an assistant coach for the Tigers.
SERIES VERSUS IOWA WESLEYAN
Eureka and Iowa Wesleyan have played 35 times since 1974. The Red Devils are 22-13 in the series against their longtime former NAIA rival,
The Red Devils are 16-2 in their last 18 against IWU at the Reagan Athletic Complex. EC won 14 home games in a row over the Tigers from 1976 through 2000 before the Tigers won 69-62 in Eureka on Jan. 14, 2014. The Red Devils have since recovered to to win the last two games over IWU in Eureka.
EC has won four out of seven games against IWU since the Tigers joined the SLIAC prior to the 2013-14 season, but dropped a 106-74 decision in Mount Pleasant last month.
LAST TIME VERSUS IOWA WESLEYAN
Iowa Wesleyan shot 56 percent from the field and made 10 of its 14 3-pointers during the second half, turning a three-point halftime lead into a 106-74 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over Eureka on Jan. 18 in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.
The Tigers led by as many nine points (19-10) in the first 20 minutes, but EC slowly battled back to claim a 35-33 advantage after Shea Feehan connected from beyond the arc at the 2:53 mark of the half.
IWU broke a 37-37 tie in the final minute of the half and led 40-37 at intermission.
Iowa Wesleyan started to pull away with 14:49 remaining on C.J. Singletary's transition bucket for a 57-47 cushion.
All five Iowa Wesleyan starters scored at least 11 points, led by Austin Walker's 21-point effort. The Tigers went 14-for-27 from 3-point range, including a 10-for-16 performance after halftime.
FOLLOW THE ACTION ONLINE
Links to a live video stream and live statistics be available at EurekaRedDevils.com and sliac.org.
The Eureka College media relations staff will provide updates throughout the game via Twitter at @EurekaGameDay.