For Immediate Release
Men's Basketball -- Feb. 8, 2012
Eureka Men's Basketball Weekly Notebook
HOME SCHEDULE COMES TO A CLOSE
The Eureka College men’s basketball team will play the final two home games of the regular season this week, hosting Lincoln Christian in non-conference action at 8 p.m. on Wednesday before celebrating Senior Day on Saturday against Fontbonne at 3 p.m.
SCOUTING LINCOLN CHRISTIAN
Lincoln Christian will bring a 7-14 overall record into Wednesday’s bout at the Reagan Center. The Red Lions have won four of their last six outings since snapping a 10-game losing streak that lasted more than six weeks.
LCU has played three games this season against NCAA Division III opponents, all members of the SLIAC. The Red Lions dropped contests to Eureka (78-73) and Greenville (81-78) before notching a 94-82 victory over Principia last Thursday.
Lincoln Christian alum David Hodam is in his first season as head coach of the Red Lions. He had previously served as an assistant coach on the LCU women’s basketball staff.
Individual and team statistics for the Red Lions are unavailable.
MATCHING UP WITH LCU
Wednesday’s contest marks the fourth consecutive season Eureka has hosted LCU in non-conference action. The Red Devils have won each of those contests and are 6-0 against the Red Lions at the Reagan Center since the turn of the century.
In the previous contest between the two squads in Lincoln on Dec. 7, the Red Devils got a game-high 18 points and five assists from Rian Nailor in a 78-73 victory at the Laughlin Center.
Fifth-year Eureka head coach Chip Wilde is 5-3 against LCU.
The Red Devils will host their annual Senior Day when Fontbonne visits for a 3 p.m. tip-off on Saturday. The Griffins enter the week with a 3-17 overall record and a 2-10 mark in the SLIAC. Fontbonne will host Westminster on Wednesday before traveling to Eureka this weekend.
The Griffins have dropped five consecutive games and eight of their last nine contests overall. Despite the woes, three of the five losses during the current skid have been by single-digits, including a 49-44 defeat against defending league co-champion Spalding on Jan. 26 in St. Louis.
Freshman guard Greg Gentry, who made his collegiate debut in the loss to Spalding, has emerged as one of the Griffins’ top scorers with a 12.8 average through his first four games off the bench. Nolan Zoellner (10.8) and Andrew Chism (10.0) also average double-figures for the Griffins.
Steve Schaefer is in his first season as head coach of the Griffins. Schaefer, who previously served as an assistant coach at midwest Division III programs Augustana, North Park and Benedictine, is just the second head coach in Fontbonne men’s basketball history.
Like its women’s program, Fontbonne boasts the winningest men’s basketball program in SLIAC history. The Griffins have won 206 conference games and three regular season crowns since the SLIAC began men’s basketball competition in 1990.
AN EVEN SERIES
Eureka and Fontbonne have met on the hardwood 12 times since the Red Devils joined the SLIAC in 2006. Each squad has won six games in the SLIAC series. The Red Devils evened the series with an 87-74 romp over the Griffins in St. Louis on Jan. 14. Dustin Fritsch scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in the victory.
Fontbonne has fared well in its previous trips to Eureka, owning a 3-2 record inside the Reagan Center since January 2007. Eureka won the previous contest on its home floor, 84-76, on Feb. 5, 2011. Eureka will be shooting for its first three-game win streak over Fontbonne as a member of the SLIAC.
THE LONE SENIOR
Senior guard Austin Nicholas will have Saturday’s Senior Day festivities all to himself. The Brownsburg, Ind. native is the only senior on the 2011-12 roster.
Nicholas has averaged 5.3 points in 66 games over three seasons for the Red Devils since joining the program as a junior college transfer in 2009.
SHARING THE BASKETBALL
Eureka’s assist totals during the 2011-12 season continue to trend in a positive direction. The Red Devils compiled 39 assists in two wins last week, bumping its season average to 18.0 per game. That figures ranks ninth among 405 NCAA Division III teams.
Individually, junior guard Jordan Kindred has been making his mark in the Eureka record book this season. His 288 career assists rank ninth all-time.
This season, Kindred has turned in his best effort yet in terms of assists. The redshirt junior has 110 assists and needs 11 more to reach Eureka’s single-season Top-10 list.
Eureka used a 14-0 blitz midway through the first half last Wednesday night versus Blackburn, turning a slim advantage into a double-digit lead that would hold up for the remainder of the game in the Red Devils’ 88-59 SLIAC win over the Beavers. Eureka junior center Mark Lessen compiled game-highs of 18 points and 14 rebounds to pace the Red Devils.
A MEMORABLE 2,000TH GAME
Eureka junior guard Rian Nailor scored the final five points of the game, including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:16 remaining in overtime, helping the Red Devils earn a 83-80 SLIAC victory over league-leading Webster in overtime, Saturday afternoon at Grant Gymnasium in St. Louis, Mo.
Saturday’s game against the Gorloks marked the 2,000th game in Eureka men’s basketball history. The Red Devils have won 1,024 of those games, the most victories by any current member of the SLIAC.
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