EUREKA, Ill. -- The Eureka College men's basketball team will play its final non-conference home game of the 2017-18 season Tuesday when former league rival Dominican (Ill.) visits Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena for a 6 p.m. tip-off. Tuesday's game marks the Stars' first visit to the Reagan Athletic Complex in more than a decade.
Preview: Eureka Readies For Tuesday Visit From Dominican
Dec 18, 2017
The Red Devils will shoot for their fifth straight home victory on Tuesday. EC is 7-2 overall, averaging 110.0 points in four home games and outscoring its opponents by an average of 33.7 points per game on Dave Darnall Court in 2017-18. The Red Devils are 21-7 at home since the renovation to Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena and 74-45 at the Reagan Athletic Complex under 11th-year head coach Chip Wilde.
Eureka has one of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference's best offenses, ranking second among 10 member schools with 94.6 points per game, 10.0 3-pointers per game, a 40 percent team 3-point field goal percentage and 18.6 free throws per game. EC leads the league with a 79 percent team free throw percentage and ranks third with 47 percent team field goal percentage.
Shea Feehan leads the Eureka offense with 34.4 points per game and became the 13th player in the Red Devils' Division III history to score 1,200 career points in Saturday's win over Webster. Hank Thomas follows with 19.1 points per game and Jordan Dehm is the Red Devils' top rebounder with 7.2 boards per game. Ryan McElmurry leads EC and ranks third in the league with 41 total assists.
Defensively, the Red Devils limit opponents to a SLIAC-worst 39 percent team field goal percentage, as well as a 30 percent team 3-point field goal percentage.
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.
RED DEVILS CONTROL WEBSTER SATURDAY FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT HOME WIN
Shea Feehan scored a game-high 34 points, sending the Red Devils to their widest margin of victory against Webster since the 2009-10 season in Saturday's 81-70 SLIAC victory over the Gorloks at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena.
Christian Crespo gave the Gorloks a 12-10 lead with 15:16 remaining in the first half, but Feehan responded with a 3 just 27 seconds later and Eureka led the rest of the way. A Feehan jumper in the final three minutes allowed the hosts to lead by as many 12 points in the first 20 minutes, and the 44-32 cushion at the buzzer equaled the Red Devils' largest advantage of the half.
The Gorloks clawed back within nine just 56 seconds into the second half, but a Feehan bucket ignited an 11-0 EC run. Ryan McElmurry's trey gave the Red Devils a 57-37 cushion – their biggest of the day – and finally forced a WU timeout at the 16:40 mark. The hosts enjoyed a comfortable lead the rest of the way.
Hank Thomas delivered 12 points and McElmurry had a balanced effort with 10 points, six assists and three rebounds. Alex Wiegand tallied nine rebounds and Jordan Dehm blocked three shots. Eureka did a good portion of its damage from beyond the arc, hitting 14 3-pointers on 29 attempts. The 11-point win was Eureka's largest over Webster since a 76-62 victory at the old Reagan Center on Feb. 6, 2010.
Dominican is 3-5 through its first eight games, including a 1-4 record in Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference action. The Stars have dropped two in a row since Dec. 9, including a 73-70 league loss to Aurora on Saturday in River Forest. DU is 1-3 in true road contests in 2017-18, earning its only road win at Wisconsin Lutheran on Dec. 2, 79-71.
Jonny Woolf, a 6-3 senior from Franklin Park, Ill., is the Stars' leading scorer and rebounder with averages of 15.6 points and 7.1 boards per game. Tim Robertson adds 12.3 points per contest and Jackson Smith pours in 10.5 points per night.
As a team, DU averages 71.0 points per game and has been outscored by an average of 5.0 points per game. The Stars shoot 41.1 percent from the floor and have a minus-6.3 rebounding margin through the season's first month.
Dominican University, located in River Forest, Ill. with an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 2,300, is a full-time member of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference. The Stars, who were picked sixth out of 11 teams in a preseason NACC coaches' poll, are in search of their first season with a winning record since 2007-08.
THE SERIES VERSUS DOMINICAN
The Red Devils own a 13-11 record against the Stars since February 1981, including a 7-4 mark at home. Eureka and Dominican competed as rivals in the old Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference for six seasons from 2000 until the conference dissolved in 2006.
Eureka opened last season with a 95-81 win over the Stars in River Forest. Shea Feehan scored 34 points, Hank Thomas poured in 18 points and Alex Wiegand chipped in with 14 points and nine rebounds. EC used a 16-0 run midway through the second half to turn a two-point lead into a comfortable lead that held up for the remainder of the contest.
MEET THE HEAD COACHES
The owner of more than two decades of coaching experience at the collegiate level, Chip Wilde is in his 11th season as head coach at Eureka. The current 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 has 124 wins, third-most in the 99-year history of the program.
Mark White, a 1984 graduate of Macalester, is in his 17th season as head coach of the Stars. He owns a 137-283 record on the bench in River Forest. White guided DU to back-to-back winning seasons in 2006-07 and 2007-08 -- the first time that feat has been reached by the Dominican men's basketball program since 1993.
In addition to his coaching experience with Dominican, White spent seven seasons at NCAA Division I Northeastern Illinois as an assistant coach.