EUREKA, Ill. -- The Eureka College women's basketball team will host College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin member Millikin Monday night in a 7 p.m. non-conference tip-off at the Reagan Athletic Complex. Eureka has never beaten Millikin in women's basketball, owning an 0-11 record against the Big Blue since the first meeting between the two schools during the 1976-77 season.
Preview: Eureka Looks to Solve Millikin Monday
Posted: Nov 26, 2017
Eureka has opened the season 2-1 overall and will aim for its third straight victory Monday versus Millikin. A win over the Big Blue would give the Red Devils wins in three of their first four games to begin the season for the first time since 2013-14 campaign and the fourth time in the last seen seasons.
The Red Devils own the top scoring offense in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference with 84.3 points per game. EC also leads the nine-team league with 9.3 3-pointers per game, 48.0 rebounds per game and 23.7 assists per game.
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.
RENEAU, RED DEVILS BLITZ MONMOUTH
Hayley Reneau tallied a career-high 41 points and Kennedy Dura tacked on her first collegiate double-double with new career marks of 20 points and 11 assists, driving the Red Devils to a 91-78 non-conference victory over Monmouth last Tuesday night at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena.
Reneau was 13-for-28 from the field, 6-for-13 from 3-point range and 9-for-10 from the free throw line to earn Eureka's fourth 40-point game in program history. Her 41 points were second-most in a game by a Red Devil and trailed only Caty Eeten's 49-point outburst in a 117-98 victory over Knox on Nov. 17, 2011.
Kennedy Dura's 20 points topped her previous career best of 17. She was 6-for-13 from the field a perfect 7-for-7 from the line to aid the Red Devils' 21-for-27 effort from the charity stripe. Eureka shot 43 percent (30-for-70) from the field and was credited with an assist on 25 of its 30 baskets.
The 13-point margin of victory was Eureka's largest over Monmouth since a 70-54 win during the 1994-95 season.
Millikin 2-1 overall after alternating wins and losses against SLIAC opponents over the first week of the regular season. The Big Blue defeated Greenville 83-67 to begin the season on Nov. 17 and followed with an 84-78 neutral-site loss to Westminster on Nov. 18. Millikin moved over the .500 mark with a 91-51 rout of MacMurray last Tuesday in Decatur.
Devin Curry leads the MU offense with 20.0 points per game thanks to a 22-for-50 performance from the field. She also leads the Big Blue with 14 total assists and 28.0 minutes played per game. Emily Schultz also averages double figures for Millikin with 13.3 points per game.
The Big Blue went 10-15 overall last season and 4-12 in CCIW competition. MU, which returns four starters and 15 upperclassmen from a year ago, was picked seventh out of nine teams in the league's preseason coaches' poll last month.
Millikin University is located 75 miles mostly south of Eureka in Decatur, Ill. The undergraduate enrollment is approximately 2,000 students. The Big Blue competes full-time as a charter member of the CCIW.
THE SERIES VERSUS MILLIKIN
Eureka has never beaten Millikin in women's basketball, owning an 0-11 record against the Big Blue since the first meeting between the two schools during the 1976-77 season.
Seven of the Red Devils' 11 defeats in the series have come inside the Reagan Athletic Complex. Monday's matchup marks the fifth consecutive season the two programs have met on the hardwood.
THE LAST TIME VERSUS MILLIKIN
Three Eureka starters reached double figures in the Red Devils' Nov. 22, 2016 road trip to Millikin, but the Big Blue made the most of its 43 trips to the free throw line to beat the Red Devils, 80-66.
The Red Devils narrowed a 12-point halftime deficit to four (53-49) after Hayley 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 a Kerrigan 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 Lauren 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. Millikin went 37-for-43 from the foul line, anchored by a 9-for-10 performance off the bench from Emily Schultz. Moses scored 16 to share game-high honors with Dura.
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.
Lori Kerans is in her 32nd season as the head coach at Millikin. A 1985 graduate of Millikin, Kerans became the 15th active Division III women's basketball head coach to win 500 games in December 2012 and won her 550th game on the MU sideline last Tuesday in Decatur.
The Millikin athletics Hall of Famer led the Big Blue to 11 NCAA Tournament appearances in her first 19 seasons, including the 2005 national championship. She has also guided Millikin to 13 20-win seasons, 11 CCIW titles and 290 league victories since her arrival in 1986.
FOLLOW THE ACTION ONLINE
Eureka will provide a live video broadcast and live statistics of Monday's game. Links to both services will be available at EurekaRedDevils.com and D3hoops.com.