Big Second Half Lifts Eureka Over Greenville, 66-49

Courtesy of Michael Hammerstrand.
Courtesy of Michael Hammerstrand.

GREENVILLE, Ill. – Eureka College freshman guard Kennedy Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield H.S.) erupted for a career-high 18 points and the Red Devils used a run of 20 unanswered points in the second half to turn a tied halftime score into a 66-49 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference romp at Greenville, Wednesday night.

Eureka opened the contest with five straight points and never trailed through game's first 10 minutes, holding a 16-14 advantage at the end of the first period. Greenville answered and took its first lead (20-19) at the 8:33 mark of the second period on Wesley Woodard's bucket, part of a brief 6-0 GC run. Three more lead changes followed over the next 73 seconds and GC scored twice in the final 1:26 of the half to force a 30-30 tie at intermission.

Greenville edged in front, 36-35, when Morgan St. James scored with 5:58 left in the third quarter. Eureka answered moments later with a basket from sophomore forward Lexi Dooley (Sutter, Ill./Warsaw H.S.), triggering a 20-0 blitz from the visitors over the next 7-minutes, 28-seconds.

Five different Red Devils scored during the outburst, effectively putting the game away early in the final period. The EC lead was 48-36 after three quarters and swelled to as many as 25 points in the final frame on a basket from junior guard Kerrigan Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield H.S.) for a 64-39 advantage with 2:51 to go.

Dooley and junior guard Hayley Reneau (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central) scored 14 points apiece to join Kennedy Dura in double figures. Senior forward Michaela Balducci (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S.) hauled down a game-high nine rebounds and senior guard Luci Weis (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community H.S.) logged five steals.

The Red Devils' victory improves their SLIAC record to 6-0 and continued the program's best start to a league schedule as a member of an NCAA Division III conference. Wednesday's 17-point margin of victory marked the Red Devils' largest win over the Panthers in Greenville since a 91-36 victory during the 1992-93 season.

Eureka will try to make it seven straight wins to open conference slate on Saturday when the Red Devils visit Westminster in Fulton, Mo. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.