EUREKA — The Eureka men's basketball team dropped a close one at home on Saturday, falling to Blackburn in St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play, 88-86.
Dakota Bennington (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Christian) dropped a game-high 34 points while going 14-for-23 from the field. Austin Juergens (Pekin, Ill./Pekin) tallied 20 points on on 7-for-12 shooting, and Ian Milsteadt (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) followed with 16 off the bench.
Jordan Dehm (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) gathered a team-high 10 rebounds and seven assists, and Chris Daniels (Peoria, Ill./Peoria) added eight points off the bench.
However, Blackburn's Karson Hayes recorded the biggest offensive half of the game. After only putting two points on the board in the first half, he went 10-for-17 from the field, drilled four 3-pointers and tallied 27 points in the second half to finish with 29.
Nigel Ferrell also had a big second-half, contributing 17 points as the Beavers outscored the Red Devils 54-42 after trailing by 10 at halftime.
In a game that featured 12 lead changes and six ties, the Beavers surpassed EC for the last time after a layup by Ferrell around the two-minute mark made it 85-84.
Then, Christian Wagner turned it into a two-possession game with a triple just before the shot clock buzzer that made it 88-84 with 20 seconds left.
After a timeout, a quick Bennington dunk put the Red Devils within two with 12.5 seconds remaining. The home team had a couple of chances to tie the game, but nothing came to fruition.
Eureka is now 10-7 on the season and 5-5 in the SLIAC. The Red Devils will look to get things back on track on Tuesday when they host Principia (3-13, 2-8 SLIAC, ) at 7:30 p.m.