For Immediate Release
Men's Basketball -- Jan. 15, 2011
MacMurray Sinks Eureka, 58-48
EUREKA, Ill. – MacMurray senior guard CJ McClellan scored a game-high 16 points and added seven rebounds, helping the visiting Highlanders to a 58-48 win over Eureka College, Saturday afternoon at the Reagan Center. Eureka sophomore Mark Lessen (Delavan, Ill./Delavan H.S.) led the Red Devils with nine points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
McClellan’s 3-pointer with 14:46 left in the first half gave the Highlanders a 5-4 lead. The visitors would never trail again and extended their lead to eight points, 16-8, on another bucket from McClellan. Eureka charged back with a 9-4 run over the next 5-minutes, 3-seconds behind baskets from four different players to trail 20-17 with 4:51 left before halftime, but the Highlanders scored eight of the last nine points of the half for a 28-18 advantage at intermission.
The Red Devils missed their first eight shot attempts from the field to open the second half, but MacMurray was only able to extend its lead to 35-18 when Jerel Robertson split a pair of free throws with 14:06 left in the game. The Highlanders were able to maintain their double-digit lead until the final minute of the game.
The Red Devils rallied late, using a 7-0 burst in the final three minutes behind baskets from freshmen Grant Pelletier (Loami, Ill./New Berlin H.S.), Ryan Olson (Streator, Ill./Streator H.S.) and Trevor Teal (Delavan, Ill./Delavan H.S.). The push closed Eureka within nine, 57-48, with 21 seconds left, but it wasn’t enough as MacMurray’s Jake Columbia split two free throws in the final 10 seconds to close the scoring.
MacMurray owned a 38-14 advantage in points scored in the paint, but Eureka finished the contest with a 46-43 edge in rebounding. Eureka seniors Josh Wagner (Roanoke, Ill./Roanoke-Benson H.S./Carl Sandburg) and Craig Black (Sullivan, Ill./Sullivan H.S.) each added eight points for the Red Devils. Teal played a career-high 14 minutes and knocked down a pair of 3-point baskets in the second half. Pelletier played nine minutes and finished with five points after making his first two collegiate baskets.
The Red Devils held McClellan, who entered the game with the SLIAC’s best assist-to-turnover ratio (2.3) to just two assists to go along with three turnovers. The two-sport athlete (men’s soccer) blocked two shots to match Lessen and Wagner for game-high honors. Robertson collected a team-high 10 rebounds for the Highlanders. Luke Bishop came off the bench to score eight points.
The Red Devils will host non-conference opponent Lincoln Christian this Thursday at the Reagan Center at 8 p.m.
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