EC Men to Take on Grinnell System in Home Shootout

EC Men to Take on Grinnell System in Home Shootout
THE OPENING TIP-OFF
 
The Eureka men's basketball team came away with a split on the road last week. 
 
On Wednesday, the Red Devils return to their home floor for a shootout against Grinnell. 
 
 
ABOUT EUREKA
 
In Week 2 of the 2019-20 season, the Red Devils encountered some adversity. 
 
After an emphatic season-opening win over Berea, Eureka fell 83-71 at Monmouth. 
 
The following night, though, the maroon and gold bounced back with an 83-56 over Knox. 
 
The Red Devils shot 47 percent from the floor, hit eight 3-pointers and forced 17 turnovers as they took care of the Prairie Fire for the second consecutive year at Tim Heimann Memorial Court. 
 
Dakota Bennington led the way with a 26-point performance on 9-of-13 shooting from the floor and 3-of-4 shooting from beyond the arc. Austin Juergens followed with 19 points and seven rebounds, and junior transfer Ian Milsteadt had a breakout night, adding 18 points and a team-high eight boards.
 
Eureka also got nice contributions from Jalen Hosea (five points and five assists) and Jaedon Banks (six rebounds and three blocks), among others.  Nearly everyone on the roster contributed in the win, and the Red Devils will likely need to rely on its bench to step up against Grinnell's notorious system. 
 
The Red Devils return 11 letterwinners and three senior starters from the storied 2018-19 team. They also welcome eight newcomers.
 
MILESTONE ALERT
 
Heading into the game, senior Dakota Bennington is only 17 points away from tallying his 1,000th point as a Red Devil. 
 
He is currently averaging 23 points per game, and he notched 25 at Grinnell last season, so be ready to celebrate a special feat on Wednesday night.
 
LAST TIME AROUND
 
Last year was the first meeting between the Red Devils and the Pioneers since 1979, and it showed how things were a little different back then. 
 
The average winning score of the programs' meetings in the late 70s was less than 80 points per game. 
 
On Nov. 13, 2018, Grinnell topped Eureka 131-108. The Red Devils carved more than 20 points off an early second-half deficit in Tuesday night's non-conference game at Grinnell, but the Pioneers were able to weather the late rally.
 
ABOUT GRINNELL 
 
Playing its trademark high-pressure, high-volume shooting System has resulted in some big numbers for Grinnell over the years. 
 
However, they haven't materialized just yet for the Pioneers this season. Going into the Eureka game, Grinnell is averaging 87.5 points per game — well off its 117.5 clip of a year ago.  The Pioneers are shooting 25 percent from the field and pulling down 37 rebounds per game. At 10.5 3-pointers per game, the Pioneers aren't even close to the top leaders in the country, as they normally are.
 
With that said, it's only been two games, and despite a 117-110 loss at Coe and a 92-74 loss to Warburg, it's clear Grinnell has the personnel — and potential — to run-and-gun with anyone. 

The Pioneers have 12 players who are regularly featured in the team's frequent subsitution pattern, averaging between 18 and 10 minutes per game.

Qualley Jackson (15 ppg), Patrick Simms (12) and Jake Benhart all average double figures, while Will Bebee gathers eight boards.