MacMurray Bests Red Devils Late, 77-74

File photo.
File photo.

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – The Eureka men's basketball team had their shot to knock off MacMurray on its home floor on Thursday.

It just didn't fall, and the Highlanders claimed a 77-74 victory over the Red Devils in St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.

A layup by Dakota Bennington (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Christian) gave EC an eight-point advantage with 4:41 left in the game.

But while MacMurray gradually chipped their way back into contention, EC's shots – drives to the rim, jumpers, fadeaways, 3-pointers and free throws alike – refused to go in.

With a minute remaining, the Highlanders went ahead on a free throw by Elijah Powell. Drew Burwinkel put away two more fouls shouts with 22 seconds left, and with eight seconds left, Trevor Voss hit two more to stretch the MacMurray lead to five.

Eureka's Jordan Dehm (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) made a layup to make it a three-point game at a buzzer, but the Red Devils were out of rebuttals by then.

Bennington finished with a team-high 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field. Dehm tallied 16 on 7-of-14 shooting and gathered a team-high 16 rebounds.

Austin Juergens (Pekin, Ill./Pekin) added 12 points, and Chris Daniels (Peoria, Ill./Peoria) contributed 11 points off the bench.

The Red Devils jumped out to an 11-0 lead, but the Highlanders recovered and nearly closed the gap by halftime. A 3-pointer by Jordan Dehm gave EC a five-point lead at the half.

The visitors shot 51.3 percent from the field to the home team's 35.9 in the first half. In the second half, MacMurray stayed the same, but the Red Devils dipped to 43.8.

Eureka scored 10 points off 10 turnovers, while MacMurray scored 18 off 20.

Burwinkel finished with a team-high 17 points for the Highlanders. Logan Dorethy notched 15 and Camron Jamison added 11.

Eureka (12-8, 7-6 SLIAC) will host Iowa Wesleyan (8-12, 5-8 SLIAC) on Saturday at 3 p.m.