For Immediate Release
Men's Basketball -- Jan. 8, 2011
Westminster Tops Eureka Men's Basketball, 64-47
EUREKA, Ill. – Eureka College sophomore guard Jake Kuenzl (Fairview, Ill./Spoon River Valley H.S.) made five 3-point baskets off the bench on his way to a career-high 15 points, but the Red Devils couldn’t overcome a slow start in a 64-47 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference loss to league leader Westminster, Saturday afternoon at the Reagan Center.
Westminster (8-6, 5-0 SLIAC) took advantage of cold Eureka shooting to open the game, building a 13-0 lead after Eureka missed its first seven shots from the field. Westminster’s Skylar Tolson scored eight points in the first 20 minutes to lead the visitors to a 34-16 lead at intermission. A total of 12 Blue Jays saw action in the first half. The Red Devils shot just 25 percent (6-for-24) in the first 20 minutes.
Eureka (0-12, 0-5 SLIAC) used a pair of runs to climb back into the game on two separate occasions during the second half. Kuenzl’s second 3-pointer of the game and first triple of the half cut the Blue Jays’ lead to 12 points, 42-30, with 12:20 left in the game. The basket capped a 10-2 Eureka burst that featured baskets from four different Red Devils in a span of 3-minutes, 31-seconds.
After the Blue Jays built their lead back to 22 points with 6:34 left, 52-30, Kuenzl ignited another Eureka rally when his 3-ball started a 17-5 run. The surge pulled the Red Devils within 10, 57-47, for the first time since the Blue Jays led 10-0. The Red Devils made 3-pointers on four consecutive possessions during the run that covered 4-minutes, 30-seconds.
With the Westminster lead cut to 10, the Red Devils were unable to get any closer in the final two minutes. Eureka missed its final five shot attempts, while the Blue Jays added three free throws and a pair of buckets after breaking Eureka’s full-court pressure for the 64-47 victory.
Kuenzl led the Red Devils with 15 points, followed by sophomore center Mark Lessen (Delavan, Ill./Delavan H.S.) with 11 points. Lessen and senior guard Craig Black (Sullivan, Ill./Sullivan H.S.) shared the team lead with five rebounds. Sophomore point guard Blake Chapman (Serena, Ill./Serena H.S.), who entered the game ranked third in the SLIAC with 35 assists, dished out a game-high five assists on Saturday. Chapman is one of only nine players in the SLIAC to meet the league statistical minimum with more assists than turnovers.
Tolson led all scorers with 16 points, while Kelsey Weymuth collected a game-high nine rebounds. Westminster, who swept the SLIAC regular season and tournament titles a year ago, improved to 5-0 in the league and owns sole possession of first place in the league.
Eureka will continue SLIAC play this Wednesday when it visits Spalding at 8 p.m. in Louisville, Ky.
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