Greenville Gets Edge Over EC Women on Senior Day, 74-69

Photo courtesy of Summer Inselmann.
Photo courtesy of Summer Inselmann.

EUREKA — The Eureka women's basketball turned in a senior-day performance it could be proud of on Saturday, despite falling to Greenville 74-69.

The Red Devils didn't get the win, but they kept the Panthers on the ropes for most of the afternoon. They finished the season 13-12 on the season and 9-9 in St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.

Fittingly, four-year seniors Kennedy Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield) and Ashley Harfst (Saunemin, Ill./Pontiac) were the Red Devils' leading scorers with 15 points apiece.

Dura went 5-for-11 from the floor and drilled 4-of-8 3-pointers while dishing a team-high five assists. Harfst added three 3-pointers and four rebounds in her final performance in maroon and gold.

The Red Devils' remaining senior, Ja'Keesha Hawkins (Peoria, Ill./Peoria), a two-year member of the squad, posted six points, six boards and two assists without committing a turnover.

Sophomore Olivia Falls (Bloomington, Ill./Bloomington) contributed a double-double of 11 points and 14 rebounds.

Freshmen Whitney Bozarth (Normal, Ill./Normal West) and Jadyn Mitchell (Flanagan, Ill./Flanagan-Cornel) added nine and eight points, respectively, while Marissa Murphy (Canton, Ill./Canton) chipped in with five points, eight rebounds and four steals.

After outscoring Greenville 16-10 in the second quarter, the Red Devils went into halftime with a 25-22 lead.

The Panthers came back strong in the third, shooting 11-for-18 from the field and outscoring EC 31-18.

That gave the visitors a 10-point advantage heading into the final frame, but EC stayed together and didn't give in to the Panthers' surge.

Falls delivered an and-one and a layup within a minute's span, and a pair of Bozarth free throws made it a five-point game with 7:13 remaining.

After three straight free throws by Falls made it a one-possession game, Mitchell drilled a go-ahead 3-pointer off an assist by Dura to make it 56-54 with 5:24 remaining.

Greenville answered with back-to-back 3s of their own, but a jumper by Dura cut the lead to three and Mitchell made the difference with another clutch 3 with 3:35 remaining.

The Red Devils continued to hang around, with a pair of Falls free throws with just over a minute left making it a one-point game, but Emily Reinneck delivered a dagger of 3-pointer on the other end.

Dura put away the last 3-pointer of her career in the final 10 seconds, but the Panthers iced the game at the line.

Dura leaves Eureka as the Red Devil's all-time assist leader with 480 in 100 games. She is also in the top 10 in four statistical categories, including fifth in 3-point field goals with 135, sixth in blocked shots with 75, sixth in 3-point field goal attempts with 380 and ninth in steals with 172.

Harfst is the 17th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points, and one of only five players to reach 1,000 points and 600 rebounds. She finishes top 10 in seven statistical categories, fourth in free throws made with 360 and fourth in free throws attempted with 449, sixth in games played with 104, seventh in rebounds with 689, seventh in points with 1,142, ninth in 3-point field goals with 108 and ninth in 3-point field goals attempted with 329.

Both were part of EC's first SLIAC Tournament championship and NCAA berth in 2017.