For Immediate Release
Women's Basketball -- Jan. 25, 2012
Eureka Downs MacMurray For Sixth Straight Win, 69-35
EUREKA, Ill. – Eureka College sophomore guard Caty Eeten (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S.) led all scorers with 15 points on 11-for-12 free throw shooting, leading the Red Devils to their sixth consecutive victory in a 69-35 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference triumph over MacMurray, Wednesday night at the Reagan Center. Eureka senior forward Lisa Byard (Morton, Ill./Morton H.S.) pulled down four rebounds to move into a fifth-place tie on Eureka’s all-time list.
Senior guard Sara Hamilton (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central) ignited Eureka’s attack early, drilling a 3-pointer on the first possession of the game to help the Red Devils sprint to a 16-2 lead in the first five minutes. A pair of foul shots from Eeten at the 15:44 mark pushed the Red Devils to a 13-2 advantage, a double-digit advantage the Red Devils would hold on to for the remainder of the evening. Another pair of free throws from Eeten in the final minute of the half pushed Eureka to a 43-20 advantage, the largest lead of the first 20 minutes for the hosts.
The Red Devils used solid free throw shooting in the first 20 minutes to build their lead, connecting on 13 of 14 attempts from the charity stripe. Eeten scored 13 before the break, and the hosts outrebounded the Highlanders in the first half, 21-15.
Eureka opened the second half with an excellent defensive stretch, holding MacMurray scoreless for a stretch of 9-minutes, 23-seconds midway through the half. The visitors didn’t get their second bucket of the half until Fionnuala Toner scored on the fast break with 7:31 left in the game. Eureka put together a 60-26 lead during MacMurray’s scoring drought. The Eureka lead climbed as high as 37 points, 67-30, after a transition bucket from senior Elizabeth Greger (Petersburg, Ill./PORTA H.S.) with 1:41 remaining.
Byard’s final rebound with 8:41 left in the game was the 627th of her collegiate career. She now ranks tied for fifth on Eureka’s all-time rebounding list with Tina Sharp (1992-96). Junior guard Jay Stewart (Taylorville, Ill./Taylorville H.S./Illinois State) joined Eeten in double-figures with 14 points and added a game-high four steals. Hamilton led the Red Devils with seven rebounds, all of which came at the defensive end of the floor.
The Red Devils limited MacMurray to just 14 field goals for the night, matching Eureka’s effort against Silver Lake on Dec. 17 for the fewest baskets allowed from an opponent this season. The Highlanders shot just 19 percent (6-for-31) after halftime and 25 percent (14-for-57) for the game. Each of Eureka’s 16 healthy players made an appearance for the third consecutive game, and 12 different Red Devils scored during the contest.
Amy Radford scored nine points and gathered a game-high 12 rebounds to lead the Highlanders. MacMurray turned the ball over 25 times, the fifth time this season Eureka has forced at least 25 turnovers.
Eureka will return to the road this Saturday in a 1 p.m. SLIAC tip-off at Greenville. The Red Devils will be shooting for their ninth consecutive road victory and trying to win for the first time in Greenville’s H.J. Long Gymnasium since joining the SLIAC in 2006.
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