DECATUR, Ill. -- Three Eureka College women's basketball starters reached double figures in the Red Devils' first road trip of the season Tuesday at Millikin, but the Big Blue made the most of its 43 trips to the free throw line to beat the Red Devils, 80-66.
After yielding four points to begin the contest, the Red Devils used an 8-0 blitz highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers from juniors Kerrigan Dura (Brimfield, Ill./Brimfield H.S.) and Hayley Reneau (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central) for an 8-4 lead. The hosts eventually broke a 10-10 tie and ended the frame on a 12-3 surge to lead 22-13 after one period.
Eureka trailed by only six, 32-26, with 3:59 to play in the half, but another late-quarter run helped the Big Blue take a 44-32 lead into the locker room. Lauren Moses scored the final five points of the half, including a basket at the 1:45 mark that proved to be the final points of the quarter.
The Red Devils narrowed the deficit to four (53-49) after Reneau's 3-point play at the midway point of the third quarter put the exclamation point on an 11-0 EC run.
Despite the third-quarter rally and another Dura 3-pointer that pulled the Red Devils back to 63-59, Eureka couldn't close the gap any further. MU extended its advantage back to double digits (72-62) on Moses' bucket with 4:42 left. The hosts ultimately closed the contest on 17-7 run.
Dura scored 16 points and went 4-for-6 from long range to lead the Red Devils. Reneau added 12 and senior Michaela Balducci (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S.) scored 11.
Millikin went 37-for-43 from the foul line Tuesday, anchored by a 9-for-10 performance off the bench from Emily Schultz. Moses scored 16 to share game-high honors with Dura.
The Red Devils will have a chance to snap their two-game skid when they travel to Galesburg, Ill. this Saturday for a 1 p.m. start against Knox. Eureka will be in search of a season series sweep of the Prairie Fire after downing KC in Eureka on Nov. 15, 86-69.