EUREKA – The Eureka women's basketball team picked up their first St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win of the season on Wednesday with an 81-68 victory over Blackburn.
The Red Devils nearly rode energy and solid shooting to a blowout at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena and Convocation. The Beavers put up a fight in the fourth quarter and made up some ground, but EC held them off before they got too close.
Four Red Devils finished in double figures, with Abby Stotler's (Wyoming, Ill./Stark County) double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds leading the way. Whitney Bozarth (Normal, Ill./Normal) followed with 16 points while shooting 5-of-7 from the field and draining 3-of-4 3-pointers
Eureka took control of the game early, racking up 24 points while holding Blackburn to just seven in the first quarter. The Red Devils shot 57.1 percent from the field and 50 percent from outside. Bozarth was 3-for-3 with a pair of 3s.
The Beavers came alive in the second quarter, shooting 8 of 11 from the field and hitting a pair of 3s, but EC kept pouring it on and led by as many as 24 in the half. The halftime score was 49-30.
Eureka and Blackburn kept the pace in the third. Then, the Beavers chipped away at the lead in the fourth. When they crept within single digits in the final few minutes, Stotler answered with a layup on an assist by Bozarth to extend the lead to 10.
She knocked down a pair of free throws with 2:12 remaining and a layup by Olivia Falls (Bloomington, Ill./Bloomington) made it a 12-point game. A Bozarth free throw with a minute left, then Falls made a steal to record the Red Devils' last forced turnover of the day.
EC scored 35 points off 31 forced turnovers on the day and notched a season-high 19 steals. The team also dished a season-high 19 assists.
Eureka (2-2, 1-0 SLIAC) will continue SLIAC play on Saturday at Iowa Wesleyan (1-4, 1-0). The Tigers previously beat Blackburn 85-78.