For Immediate Release
Men's Basketball -- Feb. 23, 2012
Red Devils Fall to Westminster at SLIAC Tournament, 74-60
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Eureka College junior guard Jordan Kindred (Chrisman, Ill./Chrisman H.S.) poured in 16 points, but #2 Westminster put together an early lead and held off the #3 Red Devils in a 74-60 semifinal win at the 2012 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament at Grant Gymnasium on the campus of Webster University in St. Louis, Mo.
The Blue Jays (16-10) started strong, building a 20-6 advantage midway through the first half. A bucket from Eureka senior guard Austin Nicholas (Brownsburg, Ind./Manitou Springs H.S./Lamar) at the 9:29 mark brought the Red Devils back within single-digits, 20-11, but the Blue Jays held a 28-15 advantage going into halftime.
Eureka (15-11) used a 9-2 burst that ended with a 3-point basket from junior guard Drake Webster (Colchester, Ill./West Prairie H.S./Carl Sandburg) for a 43-29 deficit with 11:30 left, but the Blue Jays were able to fend off the EC rally. Kindred’s foul shot with 1:48 left brought the Red Devils back within 10 points for the first time in the second half, 65-55, but Eureka was unable to push its deficit below double-digits before the final horn.
The Red Devils struggled from the field Thursday, going 7-for-32 in the first half and 22-for-70 for the game. Junior forward Dustin Fritsch (Sterling, Ill./Sterling H.S./Sauk Valley) added 11 points for EC. Fritsch and junior center Mark Lessen (Delavan, Ill./Delavan H.S.) received All-SLIAC First Team honors during a postgame awards ceremony with SLIAC Commissioner Will Wolper. Kindred received All-SLIAC Honorable Mention.
Joe James scored a game-high 19 points for the Blue Jays. Westminster shot 50 percent (26-for-52) from the field. The Blue Jays will play for the SLIAC Tournament title Saturday at 1 p.m. in St. Louis.
Eureka closes the 2011-12 season with a 15-11 record, an 11-win improvement from a year ago. The Red Devils’ final SLIAC regular season record of 11-5 marked a nine-win jump from last season, the largest single-season turnaround in the 22-year history of the conference.
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