For Immediate Release
Women's Basketball -- Feb. 16, 2012
Eureka Women's Basketball Weekly Notebook
A SHARE OF THE LEAGUE TITLE AT STAKE
The Eureka College women’s basketball team will play for a share of the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season championship and the right to host the league’s annual postseason tournament when the Red Devils visit Westminster this Saturday for a 5 p.m. start in Fulton, Mo.
With a victory on Saturday, Eureka will secure at least a share of the SLIAC regular season title and host the SLIAC Tournament. The Red Devils can earn an outright regular season championship with victories in their last two games over Westminster (Feb. 18) and MacMurray (Feb. 21).
Westminster (13-2) currently owns a half-game lead over Eureka (12-2) for first place in the league standings. Westminster would clinch the outright title with a win over Eureka on Saturday. The regular season concludes Tuesday.
Because Eureka swept third-place Fontbonne, the Red Devils would own a potential tiebreaker over Westminster, which dropped its game at Fontbonne on Feb. 8.
Despite a handful of games remaining in the SLIAC regular season, the four participants in the SLIAC Tournament have already been determined.
Fontbonne and Webster will join Eureka and Westminster as the four teams in the league tournament. Spalding, in its final year as a provisional member of NCAA Division III, is ineligible for postseason play until the 2012-13 season. The tournament is scheduled to begin on Friday, Feb. 24 at the site of the regular season champion.
Eureka’s upcoming tournament appearance in 2012 will be its first since joining the SLIAC prior to the 2006-07 season.
The Red Devils will try to take their first of two steps in dethroning Westminster as the defending league champion when the Red Devils visit Fulton this Saturday at 5 p.m.
The Blue Jays are 19-4 overall and 13-2 in the SLIAC. Saturday’s matchup marks the final game of the year for the Blue Jays.
Sophomore guard Leigh Ann Lutz is scoring a team-best 12.0 points per game and is one of four Blue Jays to have started all 23 games. Senior Heather Letourneau leads the SLIAC with 78 steals and collects a team-best 7.2 rebounds per game.
The Westminster lineup also features reigning SLIAC Player of the Year Rachel Backes. Fifth-year head coach Tracey Braden has won or shared the SLIAC Coach of the Year award twice, including a selection in 2010-11.
THE BIGGEST TEST YET
While Eureka has won all eight of its road games this season and nine consecutive road games dating back to last season, the Red Devils’ biggest challenge yet could be this Saturday at Westminster.
The Red Devils are 0-5 inside Westminster Gym since joining the league in 2006-07. The Blue Jays have won 10 of the first 11 SLIAC contests with the Red Devils. Eureka’s only victory was a 53-44 decision at the Reagan Center on Feb. 10, 2007.
WESTMINSTER WINS IN THE REAGAN CENTER
Westminster used an efficient attack to build a big first-half lead, then held off a furious second-half rally from the Eureka College women’s basketball team to earn an 80-67 sliac win over the Red Devils at the Reagan Center on Jan. 7. The win extended the Blue Jays’ regular season SLIAC winning streak to 25 games.
Khassandrae Brown led all scorers with a career-high 24 points on 9-for-11 shooting. In addition to her 13 points after halftime, Sara Hamilton pulled down a game-high seven rebounds and dished out five assists to share game-high honors with Caty Eeten and Heather Letourneau.
Rachel Backes paced the Westminster offense with 17 points. Leigh Ann Lutz added 15, followed by reserve Hannah Kloster with 10 points. The Blue Jays outrebounded the hosts, 32-29, and forced 29 Eureka turnovers that resulted in 36 of their 80 points for the day. Westminster shot 52 percent (31-for-60) for the game, the most accurate shooting performance by a Eureka opponent this season.
RED DEVILS WIN NON-CONFERENCE TILT
Eureka opened last week with a 90-37 non-conference win over Lincoln Christian. All 16 healthy Red Devils scored at least one point in the victory.
All 16 players played at least six minutes, and sophomore reserve Kiley Bugaieski played a team-high 19 minutes. Senior forward Khassandrae Brown scored a game-high 12 points, while junior guard Jay Stewart also hit double-figures with 10 points. No Eureka starter played more than 13 minutes. Sophomore guard Ashley Segerstrom scored her first career point on a free throw in the first half.
A WIN FOR THE AGES
Khassandrae Brown led all players with 25 points and 11 rebounds, helping the Red Devils overcome a four-point halftime deficit and earn an 82-80 SLIAC victory over Fontbonne, Saturday afternoon on Senior Day at the Reagan Center.
The decision marked Eureka’s 11th consecutive victory, matching the longest win streak in the 37-year history of the program. The Red Devils previously won 11 games in a row to open the 1984-85 season.
Caty Eeten scored 24 points and hauled down eight rebounds in the victory, while Jay Stewart fell just shy of a double-double with a career-high 20 points and nine boards. Senior guard Sara Hamilton chipped in with a game-high seven assists, as Eureka took solid care of the basketball with a SLIAC season-low 12 turnovers.
The Red Devils also went 19-for-27 from the free throw line against the Griffins, bumping their season total to 431-for-576 to break the previous single-season Eureka free throw record of 412 set during the 1993-94 campaign.
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