Preview: Red Devils Begin Busy Weekend Saturday at Monmouth

Photo courtesy of Mollie Albrecht.
Photo courtesy of Mollie Albrecht.
MONMOUTH, Ill. -- The Eureka College men's basketball team will prepare for its first non-conference game of the season against an NCAA Division III opponent when the Red Devils visit longtime in-state foe Monmouth for a 1 p.m. tip-off Saturday at Glennie Gymnasium in Monmouth, Ill. Eureka will have approximately 24 hours to prepare for its second road contest of the weekend, a 5 p.m. tip-off Sunday evening at Knox in Galesburg, Ill.
 
 
ABOUT EUREKA
The Red Devils are 2-1 through the season's first two weeks. Eureka has gone over the century mark in scoring in both of its victories and averages 98.7 points per game through three games.
 
Junior guards Shea Feehan and Hank Thomas are scoring nearly half of the Red Devils' points thus far. Feehan pours in 27.3 points per game, Thomas follows with an average of 20.7 and both players are shooting better than 41 percent from 3-point range. The duo has also combined to anchor Eureka's outstanding effort from the charity stripe, combining to go 29-for-31 through the season's first three games.
 
Sophomore Jordan Dehm averages a team-best 6.3 rebounds per contest. The Red Devils are collecting 47.7 rebounds per game as a team and outrebounded the opposition in both of their early-season victories.
 
The Red Devils are in their 40th season as a member of NCAA Division III and their 11th season as a member of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Eureka returns three starters, all juniors, from last season's 13-win team that broke the program's single-season record for team scoring with 90.5 points per game. In all, EC returns 18 letterwinners from last season.
 
FEEHAN NETS 1,000 IN WIN OVER ROBERT MORRIS-PEORIA
Shea Feehan poured in 28 points to become the 23rd player in program history to reach 1,000 for his career in the Red Devils' 111-74 victory over Robert Morris-Peoria last Tuesday night at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena.
 
Feehan, who owns the program's all-time lead with a 25.3 scoring average, needed only 40 games to reach 1,000 for his career. He is the 20th Red Devil to hit 1,000 in the Division III era and closed the game with 1,010 career points.
 
The Red Devils promptly put together a big lead, jumping in front 17-6 on Feehan's layup at the 14:25 mark of the first half. The hosts' lead was 35-25 when two free throw from Brady Sanders triggered a 20-9 run to end the half. A Hank Thomas bucket gave Eureka its largest lead of the half, 55-32, in the final minute before intermission. Eureka continued to pour it on in the second half. Another Thomas field goal made it a 30-point game, 64-34, less than three minutes into the period. The final 37-point margin was Eureka's biggest of the night.
 
Feehan scored 28 and Thomas followed with 16. In all, Alex Wiegand and Sanders netted 12 and Ryan McElmurry scored 10 to give the hosts five players in double figures. Wiegand added 10 rebounds for a double-double and McElmurry distributed six assists. The Red Devils shot 53 percent from the field and outrebounded the Eagles 54-41.
 
ABOUT MONMOUTH
Like Eureka, Monmouth also owns a 2-1 overall record. The Fighting Scots opened the campaign with non-conference victories over MacMurray and Coe before falling on the road to Wisconsin-Whitewater on Wednesday. 
 
Justin Aluya is MC's top scorer through three games, averaging 12.0 points per contest. He shoots 40 percent from the field and has gone 15-for-21 from the free throw line. Aluya is also the Scots' leading rebounder with 7.3 boards per game. Will Jones follows with 11.7 points per game and Lamont Mitchell adds an average of 9.3 points.
 
MC went 6-17 last season. All five starters return for the Scots, who were picked sixth out of 10 teams in a preseason Midwest Conference coaches' poll.
 
THE SERIES VERSUS MONMOUTH
The Red Devils and Fighting Scots will play for the 36th time on Saturday. Monmouth leads the all-time series, 27-8, and has won all five matchups between the two schools in Monmouth since EC joined Division III in 1978.
 
Eureka beat the Scots last season at the Reagan Athletic Complex, an 89-86 win in which the Red Devils overcame a nine-point halftime deficit and scored 61 second-half points. Shea Feehan scored 37 of his 40 points after halftime and went 8-for-13 from 3-point range in the final 20 minutes.
 
EUREKA AT KNOX -- SUNDAY AT 5 p.m.
Eureka will have approximately 24 hours to prepare for its second road contest of the weekend, a 5 p.m. tip-off Sunday evening at Knox in Galesburg, Ill.
 
Knox will enter the weekend with an 0-1 record after dropping its opener to SLIAC member Greenville on Nov. 21, 148-120. The Prairie Fire will host another SLIAC opponent on Saturday, Westminster, before the Red Devils visit Galesburg on Sunday.
 
Blake Godbold scored 37 points for KC in its season-opening "system" game against Greenville. The Prairie Fire shot 63 percent from the floor, but went just 15-for-29 from the foul line and yielded 22 3-pointers to the Panthers. Five Knox players scored at least 10 points in the loss.
 
Knox was picked last out of 10 teams in the preseason Midwest Conference coaches' poll. The Prairie Fire went 2-21 overall and 2-16 in MWC last season.
 
THE SERIES VERSUS KNOX
Eureka and Knox have split their last 14 meetings since December 1975. The Red Devils have won four of the last six in the series, including an 84-57 triumph in Galesburg last November. Last season's victory was Eureka's first in seven tries over the Prairie Fire in Memorial Gymnasium since the Red Devils joined Division III in 1978.
 
MEET THE HEAD COACHES
The owner of more than two decades of coaching experience at the collegiate level, Chip Wilde will enter his 11th season as head coach at Eureka in 2017-18. The upcoming campaign marks Wilde's 20th season as a collegiate basketball head coach.
 
Wilde has proved to be one of the most successful head coaches in the storied history of Eureka men's basketball, establishing the Red Devils as a steady presence in the SLIAC both on the court and in the classroom. Wilde entered the 2017-18 campaign with 117 wins, fourth-most in the 99-year history of the program.
 
Todd Skrivseth is in his seventh season directing the Fighting Scots. The 1996 Coe graduate owns a 57-85 overall record. His 2014-15 team finished with 16 wins and qualified for the Scots' first Midwest Conference Tournament in 16 seasons.
 
The head coach at Knox is Kevin Walden. Now in his sixth season, Walden will enter the weekend with a 12-104 record in Galesburg. A 2001 graduate of Knox, Walden was a four-year men's basketball letterwinner and a two-year starter for the Prairie Fire. 
 
FOLLOW THE ACTION ONLINE
Monmouth will provide a live video broadcast and live statistics of Saturday's game. Knox will do the same on Sunday. Links to both services for both games will be available at EurekaRedDevils.com and D3hoops.com.