ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Eureka College junior guard Shea Feehan (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame H.S.) erupted for 44 points, his third 40-point game of the season and the fourth of his three-year EC career, helping the Red Devils erase a 15-point first-half deficit and secure an 84-78 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory at Fontbonne, Wednesday night in St. Louis, Mo.
Feehan went 13-for-19 from the field and 16-for-20 at the free throw line in 36 minutes on Wednesday. The effort marked his first 40-point game since getting 40 on the nose in the Red Devils' Dec. 2 SLIAC victory at MacMurray.
Eureka's (12-4, 7-2 SLIAC) biggest lead of the first half was three when Alex Wiegand (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.) scored in the paint for an 11-8 cushion early. Fontbonne (3-13, 1-8 SLIAC) controlled much of the action for the remainder of the half, moving back in front 14-12 on a Maguire Scheer 3-pointer at the 11:55 mark.
The hosts' lead swelled to 38-23 with 5:37 to go before Eureka regained the momentum shortly before intermission. A field goal from Feehan started a 20-7 EC blitz that allowed the Red Devils to trail by only two at the break, 45-43.
Feehan's triple tied the score at 48-48 just 63 seconds into the second half. Another Feehan field goal moments later pushed Eureka to its first lead since the 12:35 mark of the first half, 50-48. Kris McCann later helped the Griffins claim a 64-60 lead midway through the half, part of a brief 8-2 FBU run. The hosts ultimately led as late as the 6:47 mark of the second half before a Hank Thomas (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods H.S.) jump shot marked the final lead change of the night and allowed EC to lead 69-68.
Fontbonne tied the Red Devils two more times, including McCann's bucket for a 76-76 deadlock with 3:39 remaining. Feehan's layup just eight seconds later triggered a run of six consecutive EC points and the Griffins wouldn't shoot with a chance to tie or take the lead again.
Dakota Bennington (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Christian H.S./Olivet Nazarene) delivered 14 points off the bench. He made all eight of his free throw attempts. Thomas scored 12. Eureka, which entered Wednesday's game as the 24th-most accurate free throw shooting team in Division III, went 25-for-30 from the line in the win.
Jared Woodcock poured in 22 to lead the Griffins, followed by McCann with 21 points and a game-high seven assists.
The first-place Red Devils will continue their two-game road stretch Saturday in a 3 p.m. SLIAC tip-off at Greenville. Eureka downed the Panthers to begin the league schedule in November, 131-109.