For Immediate Release
Men's Basketball -- Jan. 21, 2012
Men's Basketball Routs Principia, 88-55
ELSAH, Ill. – The Eureka College men’s basketball team won its third game in six day to improve its St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference record to 7-2 with an 88-55 victory over Principia, Saturday afternoon at Hay Field House in Elsah, Ill. Eureka junior center Mark Lessen (Delavan, Ill./Delavan H.S.) led the Red Devils with 22 points.
Eureka (10-7, 7-2 SLIAC) scored the first five points of the game to set the tone for a dominant first half. The Red Devils’ lead climbed as high as 32 points, 53-21, in the first half before the visitors led 53-26 at halftime. Lessen scored 14 points in the first half to pace Eureka, which shot a blistering 57 percent (20-for-35) from the field and knocked down six 3-pointers in the first 20 minutes.
The decision was never in doubt for the Red Devils after intermission, as Eureka’s lead never dipped below 25 points. The visitors maintained their solid shooting percentage, finishing the contest at 52 percent (33-for-64) overall and 43 percent (13-for-30) from beyond the 3-point line.
Lessen continued his excellent week, adding nine rebounds to go along with his 22 points on 10-for-14 shooting. Both totals were game-highs. Senior guard Austin Nicholas (Brownsburg, Ind./Manitou Springs H.S./Lamar) made four 3-pointers to finish the afternoon with 16 points off the bench, and junior forward Dustin Fritsch (Sterling, Ill./Sterling H.S./Sauk Valley) added 13 points. The Red Devils finished the game with 27 assists as a team, including a game-high six from junior guard Rian Nailor (Rock Falls, Ill./Rock Falls H.S./Sauk Valley).
Saturday’s victory completed a season series sweep for the Red Devils over Principia and improved EC’s all-time SLIAC record against the Panthers to 10-2. Fifth-year Eureka head coach Chip Wilde used all 18 players during the victory, and freshmen Kaleb Garber (Minonk, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S.), John Fisher (Bloomington, Ill./Tri-Valley H.S./Illinois College) and Cole Jackson (Bloomington, Ill./Bloomington H.S./Carthage) each made their EC debuts in the final minutes.
Matt Jones scored 17 points to lead the Panthers (0-15, 0-8 SLIAC), who dropped their 15th consecutive game to remain winless on the campaign.
Eureka will return home to the Reagan Center for an 8 p.m. SLIAC tip-off on Wednesday against MacMurray.
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