Posted: Nov 20, 2017
EUREKA, Ill. -- The Reagan Athletic Complex will play host to the 43rd Eureka College women's basketball home opener on Tuesday when the Red Devils welcome Monmouth for a 6 p.m. non-conference start inside Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena.
The Red Devils evened their overall record at 1-1 Saturday with a convincing 85-62 road win at Rockford. The decision marked the first collegiate head coaching victory for Eureka's Amos Arbogast.
The Red Devils are averaging 81.0 points per game and shooting 42 percent from the field through the season's first 80 minutes. Four Red Devils are averaging at least 10.5 points per game, including a team-high 20.0 from senior guard Hayley Reneau. Additionally, Lexi Dooley and Kerrigan Dura share the team rebounding lead at 11.5 per game and Dura has also averaged 8.0 assists per game thanks largely to an 11-point, 10-rebound, 10-assist triple-double last Wednesday at Knox.
Eight letterwinners return from Eureka's 20-win team that swept the the SLIAC regular season and tournament championships and went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. Seven of the returnees played in at least 27 games and four started at least 14 contests.
RED DEVILS DELIVER ARBOGAST'S FIRST WIN AT ROCKFORD
Sabrina Clay earned her first double-double in a Eureka uniform with 18 points and 13 rebounds and senior guard Hayley Reneau led all scorers with 21 points in the Red Devils' 85-62 non-conference win at Rockford, Saturday afternoon at the Seaver Center. The decision marked first-year head coach Amos Arbogast's first career head coaching victory.
Eureka scored the first six points of the afternoon, held Rockford scoreless for more than three minutes to begin the game and never trailed in its victory. The 46-30 halftime lead was its largest of the half. The EC advantage reached 20 (59-39) with 2:24 to play in the third quarter and was 65-46 at the end of the period.
Clay was one of three Red Devils to have at least 13 rebounds Saturday. Lexi Dooley led all players with 14 boards and Kerrigan Dura set a new career high with 13 rebounds, seven of which were at the offensive end of the floor. Ashley Harfst poured in a career-high 17 points off the bench and Kennedy Dura tallied seven assists.
Reneau went 7-for-10 from the floor and 4-for-4 from the free throw line. She also logged four of the Red Devils' 14 steals. Eureka held a decisive 58-31 rebounding advantage, outscored the hosts in the paint 34-16 and held a 20-2 advantage on second-chance points. Saturday's win snapped an eight-game road losing streak versus Rockford that dated back to Jan. 31, 1998.
Monmouth is 0-1 and will be in search of its first win of the season after suffering a 95-70 home loss to Augustana last Wednesday.
Jeni Crain scored 21 points on 7-for-15 shooting in the Scots' Wednesday defeat. Shayne Smith added 11 points and Keri Dodson hauled down eight rebounds. MC was plagued by 25 turnovers that led to 29 AC points.
The Scots went 4-19 last season and were picked eighth in a preseason Midwest Conference coaches' poll. Eight letterwinners, including all five starters, return from last season's team that went 4-14 in MWC action last winter.
On Tuesday, Monmouth will try to win a true non-conference road game for the first time since December 2013. MC has lost nine in a row on non-conference opponents' home floors since an 81-72 win at Augustana on Dec. 19, 2013.
THE SERIES VERSUS MONMOUTH
Eureka and Monmouth have met 40 times since 1976, representing one of the Red Devils' longest non-conference rivalries in program history.
Monmouth leads the all-time series, 23-17, but EC won the previous meeting in a 68-63 victory at the Reagan Athletic Complex on Dec. 17, 2014. The Red Devils' 2014 victory ended a five-game skid against the Fighting Scots. Monmouth has won six of the last eight against Eureka since Dec. 17, 2003.
Wednesday's game will mark MC's first trip to Eureka since the 2015 renovation of Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena.
THE LAST TIME VERSUS MONMOUTH
Emily Camden scored a game-high 21 points, Kelsey Shoemake added a double-double with 18 points and 14 boards and Luci Weis came off the bench to pour in 16 points in the Red Devils' 68-63 win over Monmouth at the old Reagan Center on Dec. 17, 2014.
Eureka trailed 32-30 at halftime and didn't retake the lead until a Weis 3-pointer gave the hosts a 46-45 edge with 9:52 left. The Red Devils wouldn't trail again.
Monmouth had two cracks at tying the game down three with less than a minute remaining, but a missed 3-pointer and a turnover allowed Weis and Jenna Brooks to sink insurance free throws in the final 13 seconds.
MEET THE HEAD COACHES
Amos Arbogast is in his first season as head coach of the Red Devils. He was selected as the 12th head coach in program history on July 6, 2017.
Arbogast had previously served the EC men's basketball program as an assistant coach for six seasons and played pivotal role as an assistant for a program that has proved to be an annual contender in the SLIAC. Arbogast helped guide the Red Devils to consecutive berths to the SLIAC Tournament semifinals in 2012 and 2013, including an appearance in the title game in 2013.
Kyle Wilson is the 11th head coach in Monmouth women's basketball history and enters his third season at Monmouth for the 2017-18 campaign. The 2005 Hanover graduate owns a 9-38 record directing the Scots.
Wilson got his start as an assistant in Division III before taking the same position at a pair of Division II schools before coming to Monmouth. In all, he owns more than a decade of collegiate coaching experience.
FOLLOW THE ACTION ONLINE
Eureka will provide a live video broadcast and live statistics of Tuesday's game. Links to both services will be available at EurekaRedDevils.com and D3hoops.com.