Red Devils Claim First Place, Whip Greenville, 89-76

Photo courtesy of Michelle Curl.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Curl.

GREENVILLE, Ill. – Eureka College junior forward Lexi Dooley (Sutter, Ill./Warsaw H.S.) delivered her third double-double in the last 11 days with a career-high 20 points and 12 rebounds and senior Kerrigan Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield H.S.) provided another monster effort with 13 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, helping the Red Devils with their eighth consecutive St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game in an 89-76 win over Greenville, Saturday afternoon in Greenville, Ill.

The decision allowed Eureka (12-5, 8-1 SLIAC) to move in front of the Panthers (12-4, 7-1 SLIAC) by a half-game for first place in the league standings.

Eureka controlled Saturday's game from start to finish, scoring the first nine points of the afternoon and holding GU off the board until the 6:35 mark of the opening period. The hosts clawed within three midway through the quarter, but EC equaled its largest lead at the end of the frame when Dura's 3-pointer made the score 25-16.

Just like the first quarter, the Red Devils scored nine in a row to begin the second period. EC's lead ballooned to 25 points when Hayley Reneau (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central) connected from long range for a 47-22 cushion with 3:57 left before halftime. Eureka led 53-33 at the break.

The visitors led by double digits throughout the third quarter. GU held Eureka scoreless over the final 5:07 of the period and used an 8-0 run to trail 63-51 after 30 minutes.

Kennedy Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield H.S.) ended EC's scoring drought with a basket on the Red Devils' first possession of the fourth quarter. EC pushed its lead back to 18 as late as the 4:02 mark before GU's late push was far too little and far too late.

Five Red Devils scored at least 13 points. Dooley's game-high 20 points matched her career high set at Knox on Nov. 26, 2016. Reneau tallied 19 and made three 3-pointers to move in front of Sarah Taylor (1994-98) for fifth place on the program's all-time list with 122. Ashley Harfst (Saunemin, Ill./Pontiac H.S.) went 11-for-12 at the free throw line to net 15 and Samantha Sarnes  (Havana, Ill./Havana H.S.) hit three 3-pointers off the bench for 14 points. The Red Devils kept Greenville at bay with an outstanding 24-for-27 team effort at the free throw line and outrebounded GU 50-35.

Wesley Woodard scored 18 points to lead Greenville, which lost its first league game of the 2017-18 season and lost its first SLIAC game at home since dropping a 66-49 decision to the Red Devils on Jan. 11, 2017.

Eureka will try for its ninth league win in a row Wednesday when MacMurray visits Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena for a 6 p.m. start.