THE OPENING TIP-OFF
After over two weeks off, the Eureka women's basketball team is finally back in action this weekend.
The Red Devils will continue St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play with a home game against MacMurray on Saturday inside Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena and Convocation Center at 1 p.m.
The Red Devils are starting the new year with a 6-4 record overall and a 2-1 mark in SLIAC play.
In their last conference matchup, EC competed with Westminster at home on Dec. 14, but it couldn't stay with the Blue Jays, ultimately falling 80-71. Prior to that, the maroon and gold opened league play with back-to-back road victories, including a 31-point win over Blackburn and a historic 66-point win over Principia.
The Red Devils last two performances of 2019 were a 70-56 loss on a cold shooting day at Anderson and a much-improved showing in an exhibition game at Lincoln (Mo.).
In the former, senior guard Kennedy Dura made program history by becoming the Red Devils' all-time assists leader. She now has 417 career assists in 89 games as Red Devil.
Bozarth shot 8-for-13 from the field and racked up her highest point total since EC's season opener at Rockford on Nov. 8. Mitchell contributed 17 points off the bench on 5-for-8 shooting with three 3-pointers.
A Eureka player leads the SLIAC in seven significant statistical category.
EC's assist queen Dura leads the league with 42 dishes on the season.
Falls, who leads the team with 14.9 points per game, also leads the SLIAC in field-goal percentage (55.9). Harfst (62-for-69), Falls (45-for-66) and Mitchell (36-for-48) have made the most free throws this season, and Harfst has logged the most minutes of anyone in the league with 336.
Eureka leads the SLIAC in points per game (78.1), rebounds (46.9), steals (13.7), free throws made (198 of 272) and field goals made (253 of 671).
The Highlanders are heading to Eureka looking for their first SLIAC win of the season. They're currently 2-8 on the season with wins over Central Christian College of the Bible (69-47 on Nov. 9) and Marian University (70-63 on Dec. 20).
MacMurray dropped its first three league games by an average of over 28 points per game, respectively falling to Fontbonne (53-83), Spalding (91-72) and Webster (82-46) during a 10-day span in December.
Before the holidays, the Highlanders earned their second win of the season with a seven-point edge over Marian.
A close game the whole way through, MacMurray sealed it by going on a late 11-2 run and finishing with 29 points scored off 29 steals and 35 turnovers overall.
Four Highlanders reached double figures, with Alaina Vance recording a team-high 15 points and Abby Stotler posting a double-double of 14 points and 12 boards.
Stotler is currently fourth in the conference with 81 total rebounds (8.1 per game). Savannah Moore is fifth in the SLIAC in 3-pointers made with 17 in 63 tries, Alexis Doyle is fifth in free-throw percentage (83.9)
Doyle and Moore are both averaging double figures with 10.9 and 10.2 points, respectively.
The Highlanders are currently averaging 59.9 points per game and giving up 72.1.
The Red Devils are aiming for their 18 straight win over the Highlanders, and their 47th in 52 tries.
EC has won over 90 percent of the games in this series dating back to 1983-84 season.
Last year, Eureka handled MacMurray 75-61 at home. Ashley Harfst led the way with a robust double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds on 8-of-12 shooting from the field.
Later, the Red Devils held on in a 71-69 victory at Bill Wall Gymnasium. Harfst posted a team-high 20 points.