For Immediate Release
Men's Basketball -- Nov. 23, 2011
Red Devils Fall at Division I Eastern Illinois, 87-56
CHARLESTON, Ill. – Eureka College juniors Dustin Fritsch (Sterling, Ill./Sterling H.S./Sauk Valley) and Niko Rivera (Sterling, Ill./Sterling H.S./Sauk Valley) scored 11 points apiece, while junior guard Jordan Kindred (Chrisman, Ill./Chrisman H.S.) piled up a game-high eight assists, but Division I Eastern Illinois used a fast start to put together an 87-56 victory over the Red Devils, Wednesday night at Lantz Arena in Charleston, Ill.
Eureka (1-2) fell behind early, missing its first eight shots from the field as the Panthers (3-1) put together an 8-0 advantage. The Red Devils quickly recovered, answering with a 9-6 burst capped by Fritsch’s layup to pull back within six points, 15-9, with 12:04 left in the first half. Eastern Illinois slowly stretched its lead from that point forward, and a 3-pointer from Joey Miller in the final minute before intermission gave the hosts their largest lead of the first half, 45-21.
The Red Devils played EIU evenly for a large portion of the second half and ultimately put together a 12-3 run midway through the half. Sophomore guard Zach Henn (Redmon, Ill./Paris H.S./Parkland) knocked one of his three 3-pointers on the night with 7:51 left in the game, putting an exclamation point on the surge that covered just over three minutes. Eastern Illinois was able to weather Eureka’s late rally, however, to win its third straight contest.
Eureka junior center Mark Lessen (Delavan, Ill./Delavan H.S.) pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds for the Red Devils. Kindred’s eight assists bumped his season total to 23, the most among St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference players through Wednesday. Henn gave Eureka a boost off the bench, scoring a career-high nine points on his three 3-point baskets in 14 minutes of action. Junior center D.T. Thornton (Normal, Ill./Normal West H.S.) also delivered a spark off the bench, compiling eight points and six rebounds in only 10 minutes of work.
Miller led all players with 16 points for the Panthers. Alfonzo McKinnie (14 points) and Josh Piper (13 points) also scored in double-figures. The Panthers enjoyed a sizable advantage from the free throw line, holding a 27-5 edge in trips to the foul line for the game. EIU committed eight fouls for the game and only two fouls after halftime. EIU also held the edge on the glass by a 45-38 margin.
Eureka will take a short break for the holiday before returning to non-conference action on Saturday afternoon at Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference member Central. The Red Devils and Dutch (2-1) will tip-off at 3 p.m. in Pella, Iowa.
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