ROCKFORD, Ill. – Senior Ashley Harfst (Saunemin, Ill/Pontiac H.S) recorded the Eureka women's basketball team's first double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while freshman guard Whitney Bozarth (Normal, I'll/Normal West) dropped a game-high 23 points en route to a 78-43 season-opening win at Rockford on Friday.
Eureka scored the first seventeen points of the game at the Seaver Center, holding Rockford scoreless for more than eight minutes to begin the game, and never trailed the whole game. Harfst knocked down a pair of free throws with two seconds left, extending the lead 21-4 at the end of the first quarter.
The Red Devils would lead by double digits for the rest of the game, taking a 34-14 lead into halftime.
The Regents kept the second half a touch closer with a back-and-forth third quarter. Neve Yerk led the way for Rockford with a double-double, 16 points and 12 boards, including 10 in the third quarter. The closest Rockford could come in the second half was when they trailed 39-20 to the Red Devils.
Outside of Bozarth and Harst, Eureka had two other players finish in double digits. Freshman Jadyn Mitchell (Flanagan, Ill/Flanagan-Cornel) added 12 points off the bench, and senior Ja'keesha Hawkins (Peoria, Ill./Peoria) contributed 10 points and seven boards. Olivia Falls (Bloomington, Ill./Bloomington) pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds, and Kennedy Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield) registered a team-high six assists.
Bozarth went 8-for-18 from the floor and 2-for-4 from the free throw line. She also logged two of the Red Devils' 16 steals. The Red Devils out rebounded Rockford by 18, 58-40. Eureka had 24 points off turnovers, and 21 off second-chance points.
Eureka (1-0) travel to Knox next Wednesday for a 6 p.m. non-conference game.