For Immediate Release
Men's Basketball -- Feb. 14, 2011
Greenville Escapes Eureka, 60-55
EUREKA, Ill. – Eureka College senior guard Craig Black (Sullivan, Ill./Sullivan H.S.) scored all of his game-high 12 points during a furious second half rally, but visiting Greenville escaped the Reagan Center Monday night with a 60-55 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory after seeing its 20-point lead shrink down to three in the final minute of the game.
Trailing by three, 58-55, Eureka (2-20, 1-12 SLIAC) forced K.J. Hilliard to turn the ball over deep in the corner, giving the Red Devils a chance to shoot for the tie with 17 seconds remaining. Black’s 3-pointer to tie on the ensuing possession was off the mark, allowing Greenville (11-10, 7-6 SLIAC) to collect the rebound and make two foul shots to put the game away with nine seconds left.
The two squads played a tight contest in the early stages of the first half. Eureka sophomore Blake Chapman (Serena, Ill./Serena H.S.) scored in transition to bring the Red Devils within one, 10-9, with 11:40 left before halftime, but the Red Devils went on to miss their next 12 field goal attempts. During Eureka’s scoring drought, Greenville put together a sizable advantage as 10 different Panthers scored at least scored at least two points. The Red Devils recovered before intermission, using a an 8-4 run to close the half trailing the visitors 33-17.
The Red Devils scored on three of their first four possessions of the second half, but the Panthers continued to match Eureka’s effort and maintained their double-digit lead until the Red Devils engineered finally engineered a lengthy run. Black drilled a jumper with 14:13 left in the contest, sparking a quick 13-2 burst over the next 74 seconds for the Red Devils to trail 43-37 with 10:30 left. Greenville eventually stopped the rally and pushed its lead back to 10 points on Obinna Agomo’s dunk with 8:17 remaining, but Agomo was whistled for a technical foul for hanging on the rim, allowing Eureka to make the ensuing free throws and later cut the deficit to six less than a minute later, 47-41, with 7:47 left.
Eureka made one final push in the final three minutes. Junior reserve Austin Nicholas (Brownsburg, Ind./Manitou Springs H.S./Lamar) made two foul shots with 2:48 remaining to trim the Greenville lead to 54-51, the visitors’ smallest advantage since the 11:40 mark of the first half. The Red Devils would cut the lead to three points on two more occasions, including a lay-in by Chapman with 19 seconds remaining, but the Eureka rally ran out of steam as Agomo’s free throws with nine seconds left iced Greenville’s seventh win of the SLIAC schedule.
Nicholas scored 11 points for the Red Devils and senior forward Josh Wagner (Roanoke, Ill./Roanoke-Benson H.S./Carl Sandburg) added 10 points. Agomo matched Black for game-high scoring honors with 12 points. Greenville’s Jonas McBride, who is listed as 6-feet tall on the Panthers’ roster, led all players with eight rebounds. The victory improves Greenville to 7-6 in SLIAC play and allowed the Panthers to maintain possession of the fourth and final berth in the league tournament later this month.
The Red Devils will host their annual Senior Night this Wednesday at the Reagan Center against Blackburn at 8 p.m. Eureka seniors Craig Black, Cody Myers and Josh Wagner will be honored during a ceremony prior to the game.
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