Eureka Sprints Past Webster, 79-68

Photo courtesy of Bob Hunt.
Photo courtesy of Bob Hunt.

EUREKA, Ill. -- Eureka College sophomore guard Ashley Harfst (Saunemin, Ill./Pontiac H.S.) came off the bench for a career-high 19 points and 11 rebounds and senior guard Hayley Reneau (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central) added 18 points, helping the Red Devils turn a one-point lead at halftime into a 79-68 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over Webster, Saturday afternoon at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena.

Webster scored the first five points of the afternoon and held EC scoreless until Kennedy Dura's (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield H.S.) layup got the hosts on the board at the 6:25 mark of the first quarter. The Red Devils pulled in front later in the quarter when Reneau connected from 3-point range for a 10-7 cushion. EC led by as many as five in the period before WU recovered to force a 20-20 tie after 10 minutes.

The Gorloks led for much of the second quarter and equaled their biggest cushion of the day when Taylor Lucas scored inside at the 4:40 mark to lead 30-25. Eureka punched back with eight of the next 10 points, moved in front on a Samantha Sarnes (Havana, Ill./Havana H.S.) triple with 1:33 left and took a 36-35 advantage into the locker room when Reneau hit again from 3 in the closing seconds before the horn.

The Red Devils seized control of the action with a dominant third quarter. Reneau extended the advantage to double digits for the first time, 50-40, with a lay-in at the 4:55 mark. EC's cushion ballooned to as many as 16 in the frame when Sarnes made two free throws to lead 64-48 in the final minute of the quarter.

Eureka kept the visitors out of reach for the remainder of the second half. Natalie Busscher's 3-pointer got WU within nine, 75-66 with 3:23 left, but the Gorloks missed their next six shot attempts and Sabrina Clay (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg H.S./Carl Sandburg) hit a jumper in the final minute to allow EC win the contest by a double digits.

Harfst went 8-for-9 from the free throw line and hauled down eight of her 11 rebounds at the defensive end. Reneau made four 3-pointers, Sarnes tallied 14 off the bench and Dura netted 11. The Red Devils shot 46 percent from long range and went 18-for-23 as a team at the foul line.

Kylie Shoot scored 18 points in a reserve role to pace Webster. Aley Lucas added 15 points. The Gorloks were solid at the free throw line with a 19-for-22 effort, but went just 5-for-21 from 3-point range.

A two-game swing to Ohio is next for the Red Devils. Eureka will visit North Coast Athletic Conference member Wooster on Thursday at 4 p.m. CST in Wooster, Ohio.