For Immediate Release
Men's Basketball -- Feb. 1, 2012
Eureka Men's Basketball Weekly Notebook
DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME
The Eureka College men’s basketball team will open the final month of the 2011-12 regular season with two more matchups with St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opponents this week.
The Red Devils will go for the season series sweep of Blackburn when the Beavers visit the Reagan Center on Wednesday at 8 p.m. The Red Devils will make their second and final trip to St. Louis on Saturday at 3 p.m. against Webster.
Blackburn is 5-14 overall and 2-8 against SLIAC competition in 2011-12. Only two of the Beavers’ five victories have come against NCAA Division III opponents this season.
The Beavers will bring an 11-game losing streak into the Reagan Center on Wednesday that includes all eight of its SLIAC losses.
Three Blackburn starters score in double-figures on average, led by 16.2 points per game from senior guard Julian Lott. Senior forward Madison Medley is the top BC rebounder at 6.8 boards per contest.
Jason Baribeau is in his first season as head coach of the Beavers. The 2002 Wisconsin-Green Bay graduate owns previous experience as an assistant at Nebraska Wesleyan, Hanover, Cayuga and Keuka.
THE BLACKBURN SERIES
Eureka has dominated the all-time SLIAC series with Blackburn to the tune of a 10-1 record. The Red Devils are a perfect 5-0 in SLIAC games played against the Beavers at the Reagan Center.
Last month, Eureka got career-bests of 34 points and 18 rebounds from junior center Mark Lessen to earn an 84-62 win over the Beavers in Carlinville.
Lessen’s rebounding total marked Eureka’s best effort on the glass since Josh Wagner grabbed 19 rebounds at Robert Morris-Springfield on Dec. 15, 2010. Lessen also blocked four shots. Junior forward Dustin Fritsch chipped in with 20 points and six boards, while junior guard Jordan Kindred dished out a game-high seven assists.
Eureka will try to avenge a Jan. 10 loss to the Gorloks when the Red Devils travel to St. Louis on Saturday at 3 p.m.
Despite its winless non-conference record (0-9), Webster has ripped off nine straight SLIAC victories this season to have the Gorloks sitting atop the league standings with a perfect 9-0 mark. The Gorloks will visit Westminster on Wednesday at 8 p.m. before hosting Eureka on Saturday.
The Gorloks have been extremely balanced on offense this season, getting double-figure scoring production from four different players. Sophomore forward Stefan Whittingham leads the group with a 14.3 average. Webster has proved to be the SLIAC’s top-shooting team, as WU leads league with a .491 field goal percentage and a .380 mark from 3-point range in conference action.
One of the longest-tenured head coaches in the SLIAC, Chris Bunch is in his ninth season at Webster. Bunch is 129-96 overall and 99-32 in the SLIAC, giving Webster the league’s best conference record since Bunch took over in 2003. He has won the SLIAC Coach of the Year award three times.
GETTING EVEN WITH WEBSTER
The Red Devils will try to end a two-game losing streak in Webster’s Grant Gymnasium on Saturday. The Gorloks are 4-1 against Eureka on their home floor since EC joined the league. Webster leads the all-time SLIAC series, 8-3.
The Gorloks connected on 12 of 23 3-point attempts in their 99-83 victory over the Red Devils at the Reagan Center on Jan. 10. The decision marked Webster’s third straight win over the Red Devils and ended Eureka’s six-game home winning streak that dated back to February 2011.
Mark Lessen finished the game with 21 points to lead the Red Devils. Dustin Fritsch scored 19 points and pulled down seven boards, while Rian Nailor handed out a career-high nine assists to go along with 15 points in a game-high 34 minutes.
KINDRED GETS 40 AT GREENVILLE
The magic number for junior guard Jordan Kindred last Saturday at Greenville was ‘40’. The fourth-year junior from Chrisman, Ill. made 12 shots from the field -- six of which were 3-pointers -- en route to a career-high 40 points. The effort also marked the 40th time in his 78-game Eureka career Kindred has scored in double-figures.
The effort allowed Kindred to earn SLIAC Player of the Week honors for the second time in his career. He previously earned the award as a freshman on Jan. 20, 2009.
Additionally, Kindred continued his push to climb up Eureka’s all-time assist list. He’ll enter Wednesday’s game against Blackburn ranked ninth with 279 career assists and needs an additional 15 assists to tie Rich Taylor (1983-87) for eighth all-time.
MacMURRAY ESCAPES THE REAGAN CENTER
Prior to Kindred’s heroic performance at Greenville, Eureka saw its four-game SLIAC win streak come to an end in a 64-60 loss to MacMurray last Wednesday at the Reagan Center.
The Highlanders got a game-high 21 points from Clayton Whitlock and withstood an 11-5 run from the Red Devils in the final minutes to close out the victory.
Jordan Kindred and Dustin Fritsch shared team-high honors with 12 points apiece. Senior guard Austin Nicholas also reached double-figures with 11 points in just his seventh career start. Fritsch and junior center Mark Lessen each grabbed 11 rebounds. Lessen collected eight of his boards at the offensive end, allowing Eureka to hold a 21-11 advantage on second-chance points and a 45-39 cushion on the glass.
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