For Immediate Release
Men's Basketball -- Dec. 26, 2011
Eureka Men's Basketball Weekly Notebook
ANOTHER DIVISION I OPPONENT
The Eureka College men’s basketball team will take on its second NCAA Division I opponent of the 2011-12 season when the Red Devils travel to Macomb, Ill. on Tuesday for a matchup against the Western Illinois Leathernecks at 7:30 p.m. inside Western Hall.
Eureka dropped its previous contest against Division I opposition in an 87-56 setback at Eastern Illinois on Nov. 23 in Charleston, Ill.
SCOUTING WESTERN ILLINOIS
Western Illinois will carry a 5-4 record into Tuesday’s matchup with the Red Devils. The Leathernecks led wire-to-wire in a 68-46 drubbing of North Dakota in their previous game last Thursday in Macomb. Junior transfer Terrell Parks has started all nine games in the WIU frontcourt, averaging a double-double with 13.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game to lead the WIU offense.
Eureka represents the second St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opponent for the Leathernecks this season. WIU topped Greenville, 84-49, on Nov. 22 in Macomb.
Longtime Division I head coach Jim Molinari is in his fourth season directing the Leathernecks. Molinari, who played two seasons of basketball as a Division III student-athlete at Illinois Wesleyan in Bloomington, Ill., has led Northern Illinois (1991) and Bradley (1996) to appearances in the NCAA Tournament as a head coach.
INTERNET COVERAGE AT WIU
Eureka fans interested in following the Red Devils’ contest at Western Illinois can follow live statistics and listen to a live radio broadcast by visiting the official WIU athletics website, goleathernecks.com. A premium video broadcast of the game is available for $4.95.
As always, Eureka fans are encouraged to follow the Red Devils on Twitter and “Like” the Red Devils on Facebook for instant updates.
LAST TIME AGAINST WESTERN ILLINOIS
Eureka knocked down nine 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes to trail by only five points at halftime, but Western Illinois pulled away in the second half to earn a 75-57 victory over the Red Devils in the previous meeting between the two squads on Nov. 19, 2008 at Western Hall.
The Red Devils led the Leaternecks late in the first half by as many as five points, but WIU closed the first half on an 11-2 run and never trailed again. The victory proved to be the first for Jim Molinari as head coach of the Leathernecks.
Fourth-year Eureka junior guard Jordan Kindred, who started and scored five points in 29 minutes that night in his collegiate debut, is the only remaining Red Devil from the previous contest against Western Illinois. Ceola Clark III and Tommie Tyler are the only remaining Leathernecks are only remaining Leathernecks from 2008 matchup.
LESSEN’S BIG NIGHT AGAINST RMU
Eureka College junior center Mark Lessen recorded his sixth career double-double with game-highs of 26 points and 13 rebounds, lifting the Red Devils to a 96-90 non-conference victory over Robert Morris-Springfield at the Reagan Center on Dec. 14. The triumph extended Eureka’s winning streak to four games, the Red Devils’ longest stretch without a defeat since January 2010.
Eureka dominated the inside game, holding a 50-28 advantage in rebounding and a 66-32 lead on points scored in the paint. The Red Devils also turned 20 offensive rebounds into 20 second-chance points. Junior forward Dustin Fritsch also had a double-double for the hosts with 24 points and 10 rebounds, while junior guard Jordan Kindred gave the Red Devils a balanced effort with nine points, nine rebounds and six assists.
Junior guard Rian Nailor scored 14 points, while junior center D.T. Thornton scored 11 points and grabbed six rebounds in just seven minutes off the bench to give Eureka four scorers in double-figures.
ROSE-HULMAN PULLS AWAY
Eureka trailed by one possession at halftime of its non-conference game at Rose-Hulman on Dec. 15, but the Fightin’ Engineers slowly pulled away from the Red Devils in the second half to earn a 92-70 victory at Hulbert Arena in Terre Haute, Ind. Eureka’s defeat snapped a four-game winning streak.
Rose-Hulman, which is receiving votes to land just outside the weekly D3Hoops.com Top 25 poll, enjoyed a significant advantage on in free throws attempted. The Fightin’ Engineers drew 25 Eureka fouls and finished 30-for-35 from the charity stripe. Eureka made all nine of its free throws, but was fouled only 11 times for the game and did not reach the bonus in either half.
Dustin Fritsch scored a game-high 23 points and collected 12 boards for his second double-double in as many nights. Rian Nailor poured in 18 points and knocked down four 3-pointers, while Jordan Kindred hit double-figures with 10 points and added a game-high five assists. James Pillischafske’s 20 points paced five Fightin’ Engineers in double-figures, as Rose-Hulman improved to 8-1 for its best start since the 1992-93 season.
FRITSCH EARNS SECOND SLIAC HONOR
For the second time this season, junior forward Dustin Fritsch was chosen as the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week, according to an announcement from the league office on Dec. 19.
Fritsch had two double-doubles for the Red Devils, averaging 23.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists in Eureka’s pair of non-conference contests. He shot 61 percent from the field for the week, including a 9-for-13 performance at Rose-Hulman on Thursday. Through nine games, Fritsch leads the nine-team SLIAC with 18.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. He also ranks fourth in the league with 16 steals and fifth with a .516 field goal percentage.
With the Red Devils atop the SLIAC standings and off to a 2-0 league start for the third time under head coach Chip Wilde, Eureka is currently leading the nine-team conference in several individual and team statistical categories.
Junior forward Dustin Fritsch leads the SLIAC in scoring (18.9) and rebounding (8.4). Junior guard Jordan Kindred averages a league-best 6.0 assists and 2.4 steals per game. Junior center Mark Lessen is leading the conference with 2.4 blocked shots per game.
As a team, Eureka is tops among SLIAC teams in scoring (79.7), field goal percentage (.443), rebounding (39.9), assists (17.4), steals (10.2) and blocked shots (4.9) per game.
KINDRED PUSHING FOR THE TOP-10
The next assist distributed by Eureka junior guard Jordan Kindred will prove to be a milestone accomplishment for the Chrisman, Ill. native. Kindred needs one more assist to bump his career total to 235 and tie Claye Vogelsang (2001-05) for 10th place on the all-time Eureka assist list.
Kindred, who received a medical redshirt last season after sustaining a major knee injury in December 2010, is averaging a SLIAC-best 6.0 assists per game this season and is on pace for 150 assists in 2011-12. That mark would be the seventh-best single-season total in program history and the most since Shawn McGuire had 162 assists during the 2003-04 season.
WILDE MOVES TO FIFTH PLACE
Fifth-year Eureka head coach Chip Wilde has the Red Devils off to a 5-4 start this season. The five early victories have moved Wilde into fifth place on Eureka’s all-time men’s basketball head coaching wins list. Eureka’s 85-57 drubbing of Principia on Dec. 3 moved Wilde past Paul LaVinn (1948-54) for fifth place.
Wilde currently has 47 wins as head coach of the Red Devils and can tie Dennis Dighton (1994-00) for fourth place with 11 more victories this season.
Tuesday’s game at Western Illinois represents a personal homecoming for Chip Wilde. The fifth-year Eureka head coach was a 1987 graduate of Macomb High School and earned both his undergraduate (1991) and graduate (1994) degrees in physical education from Western Illinois.
Wilde’s father, Skip, was inducted into the Western Illinois Athletics Hall of Fame as a long-time contributor in 1995.
Junior guard Jordan Fehr scored his 100th career point on a 3-pointer against Robert Morris-Springfield on Dec. 14.
Junior forward Mark Lessen collected his 300th career rebound at Rose-Hulman on Dec. 15, the most by any active Eureka player.
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