EUREKA – Jordan Dehm (Metamora, Ill./Metamora H.S.) put up a career-high 21 points to share the team scoring lead with Hank Thomas (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods H.S.) and help Eureka rally from an early deficit to secure an 87-71 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over Principia, Saturday afternoon at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena and Convocation Center.
Dehm was 8-for-13 from the field and pulled down eight rebounds. Thomas was 7-for-17 and added seven assists and five boards. Dakota Bennington (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Christian H.S./Olivet Nazarene) put together an effort of 19 points, six rebounds and four steals.
Principia scored the first five points of the afternoon and claimed a 20-7 lead less than seven minutes into the action. Alex Wiegand (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.) answered with a 3-point play at the 11:37 mark and the comeback effort was in motion.
Dehm's bucket at 7:49 capped an 11-2 surge and the hosts finally pulled even, 33-33, when Donald Hardaway, Jr. (Lansing, Ill./Cimarron Memorial/Daley) split two free throws with 2:18 remaining in the half. PC led 39-38 at the break.
Eureka took control of the game immediately out of the locker room. Bennington delivered the Red Devils' first lead of the day with a basket on their first possession of the half, triggering a 14-0 EC run. Dehm put an exclamation point on the rally with a 3-pointer for a 52-39 lead with 15:49 remaining.
The Panthers wouldn't threaten the Red Devils' lead for the remainder of the afternoon. Eureka's cushion ballooned to as many as 22 points in the final two minutes.
The Red Devils will be back on the road Wednesday night for a 7:30 p.m. SLIAC matchup with Fontbonne in St. Louis, Mo.