Spalding Edges Red Devils, 78-69

Photo courtesy of Michelle Curl.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Curl.

EUREKA — The Eureka men's basketball team fell short in St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play on Thursday, dropping a 78-69 contest to Spalding at home.

The Red Devils led by as many as 10 in the first half, but the visitors found a way to push ahead in the second.

Jordan Dehm (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) notched a team-high 20 points on 8-of-19 shooting for EC in the loss.

Dakota Bennington (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Christian) added 18 points, and Austin Juergens (Pekin, Ill./Pekin) tallied 10 and a team-high eight rebounds.

The Golden Eagles outscored EC 48-36 in the second half. The Red Devils were never far behind, but their last lead came with 4:38 left in the game following a layup by Bennington.

Mitchell Prince and Brian Tribble hit back-to-back 3s to take a four-point lead with 3:46 remaining.  A jumper by Dehm trimmed it to two with 2:40 left, but Marcus Montgomery answered on the other end.

Two possessions later, EC's Ian Milsteadt (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) delivered one of the most thrilling moments of the night for the Red Devils when he stripped Jaiquan Edwards at mid-court and flushed it with his left hand on the other to make it 64-62 with just under two minutes to play.

However, Spalding scored the next six points to extend their advantage to eight and force Eureka to foul between quick scores.

The Golden Eagles put away the game at the free-throw line. They went 19-for-21 from the stripe on the night.

Edwards dropped a team-high 20 points for the Golden Eagles on 7-of-13 shooting and 6-of-6 shooting from the line. Montgomery put 18 points, and Tribble recorded a double-double of 15 points and 13 rebounds.

Eureka (9-5, 4-3 SLIAC) will now look to bounce back against SLIAC leader Webster (7-7, 6-1 SLIAC) 3 p.m. Saturday at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena and Convocation Center.