Slow Start Trips Up Eureka at Maryville, 88-65

Photo courtesy of Michael Hammerstrand.
Photo courtesy of Michael Hammerstrand.

ST. LOUIS, Mo. – In its first visit to former conference rival Maryville (Mo.) in nearly a decade, the Eureka College men's basketball team suffered an 88-65 non-conference setback to the NCAA Division II Saints, Saturday afternoon at Moloney Arena in St. Louis, Mo.

Maryville (10-2) put Eureka (8-3) in a double-digit hole early, scoring the game's first 15 points as the Red Devils missed their first eight field goal attempts of the afternoon. Shea Feehan (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame H.S.) got the visitors on the board with a 3-pointer at the 15:29 mark of the first half, but MU led by 10 points or more for the remainder of the afternoon.

MU was in front at halftime, 49-28. Brady Sanders (Minonk, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S./Illinois Wesleyan) made a pair of free throws with 12:02 remaining to trigger an 8-0 EC run that slashed Maryville's lead to 68-46. The Red Devils clawed within 20 as late as the 4:38 mark, but couldn't trim their deficit any further.

Feehan paced the Red Devils with 21 points and eight rebounds. Hank Thomas (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods H.S.) and Dakota Bennington (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Christian H.S./Olivet Nazarene) chipped in 12 points apiece. Ryan McElmurry (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg H.S./Carl Sandburg) logged five of EC's 13 assists. The Red Devils committed only nine turnovers, their lowest team total since the Nov. 25 victory at Monmouth.

Five Saints scored at least 11 points, led by 16 each from Robin Thompson and Zach Colletta. Nolan Berry collected a game-high 18 rebounds, as MU owned a 59-44 advantage on the glass and outscored the Red Devils in paint, 52-20. The victory was Maryville's seventh in a row.

Eureka will resume St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play on Wednesday against Spalding. Tip-off at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena is scheduled for 8 p.m.