CARLINVILLE, Ill. – Kennedy Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield H.S.) scored a game-high 21 points and added a career-high nine steals at the defensive end to drive Eureka to a 71-62 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference triumph over Blackburn, Saturday afternoon in Dawes Gymnasium in Carlinville, Ill.
Dura's effort marked the eighth time in program history a Red Devil logged at least nine steals in a game and the first time since Caty Eeten had nine thefts at Lincoln Christian on Feb. 9, 2011. Josie Morgan (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.) added five steals Saturday to aid the Red Devils' 17-steal effort as a team.
Samantha Sarnes (Havana, Ill./Havana H.S.) scored 19 points thanks to a 7-for-10 effort at the foul line. Morgan scored 15 points and Sierrah Seals (East Peoria, Ill./Metamora H.S.) led all players with a career-high 10 rebounds.
Blackburn led 14-11 after one quarter, but Morgan's 3-pointer just 38 seconds into the second period tied the score. The visitors grabbed the lead on an Olivia Falls (Bloomington, Ill./Bloomington H.S.) layup just 29 seconds later. The Red Devils wouldn't trail again in the first half and led by four points as late as the 1:25 mark when Sarnes hit a jumper for a 30-26 cushion. The EC lead at the break was 30-28.
The Beavers held Eureka scoreless for nearly three minutes to begin the second half and forged ahead 32-30 on Savannah Kruse's bucket with 7:31 to play in the third quarter. BC led by as many as three later in the quarter, but Morgan's triple with 5:41 remaining in the frame tied the game at 36-36 and triggered a decisive 17-0 run from the Red Devils.
Two foul shots by Morgan gave the visitors the lead for good. Sarnes's interior bucket gave Eureka its largest lead, 50-36. Blackburn was held scoreless for 5-minutes, 10-seconds during the visitors' run and trailed EC 50-38 after three quarters.
Eureka matched its 14-point advantage as late as the 3:17 mark of the fourth quarter. Annika Ochs connected from 3-point range with 52 seconds left to inch the hosts within seven, but Eureka maintained a lead of at least three possessions throughout the final quarter.
The Red Devils are back on the road Tuesday at 6 p.m. for a non-conference game at Millikin in Decatur, Ill.