For Immediate Release
Women's Basketball -- Jan. 4, 2012
Eureka Women's Basketball Weekly Notebook
SLIAC PLAY RESUMES
After a four-game stretch of non-conference competition, the Eureka College women’s basketball team will kick off the new year and resume St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play this week with a pair of contests.
The Red Devils will take their lengthy annual SLIAC road trip to Louisville, Ky. on Wednesday for a 5 p.m. start against the Spalding Golden Eagles. Eureka will close the week with a 1 p.m. tip-off against the Westminster Blue Jays at the Reagan Center on Saturday, the first home game for the Red Devils in three weeks.
In its third year as a member of the SLIAC and its final year as an NCAA Division III provisional member, Spalding is 5-4 overall this season and 1-1 against the SLIAC.
The Golden Eagles will be in action for the first time since splitting two games during a pre-Christmas trip to Honolulu, Hawai’i. Spalding topped Worcester State, 52-34, on Dec. 18, before dropping a 58-34 decision to George Fox during the Hoop n’ Surf Tournament at Kilauea Recreational Center.
Spalding routed MacMurray, 77-38, in its SLIAC opener in Louisville on Nov. 28. The Golden Eagles followed that effort with a 57-46 triumph against defending league champion Westminster on Dec. 4.
Since joining the league prior to the 2009-10 season, Spalding is 23-11 in SLIAC play and 4-0 against the Red Devils. Senior forward and reigning SLIAC scoring champion Kelly Harrod is scoring 14.3 points per game, but hasn’t played since Nov. 28. Veteran head coach Charlie Just is in his sixth season as head coach.
Because of its provisional status, Spalding is ineligible to compete in the NCAA Division III postseason until the 2012-13 season.
One year removed from earning its first SLIAC regular season championship, Westminster enters the week with a 7-2 overall record and 2-0 SLIAC mark.
The Blue Jays played back-to-back games last week at the Wartburg Holiday Tournament in Waverly, Iowa. Westminster lost a 59-50 decision to tournament host Wartburg last Thursday before salvaging a split for the road trip in a 55-41 win over Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Friday.
Westminster downed in-state league rival Webster, 59-45, in its SLIAC opener on Nov. 30, and also beat Spalding in Louisville on Dec. 3, 57-46. The Blue Jays will host traditional league power Fontbonne on Wednesday before visiting the Reagan Center this weekend.
Sophomore guard Leigh Ann Lutz is pacing the offense as one of three players to average double-figures with 12.8 points 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 Red Devils will be shooting to break an eight-game losing streak against Westminster since beating the Blue Jays, 53-44, at the Reagan Center on Feb. 10, 2007. The Blue Jays are 9-1 against the Red Devils in SLIAC action since the 2006-07 season.
A LOOK BACK AT VEGAS
Eureka played two games as part of the second annual D3Hoops.com Classic at South Point Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. last week.
Sophomore guard Caty Eeten poured in a game-high 30 points, while junior newcomer Jay Stewart came off the bench to share game-high honors with 12 rebounds, leading the Red Devils to a 63-52 victory over Concordia (Wis.) in the opening game of the event on Tuesday.
The victory improved EC to 2-0 against Northern Athletics Conference members this season.
Less than 48 hours later, Eureka dropped a 94-70 non-conference decision to Simpson on Thursday afternoon. Senior forward Khassandrae Brown finished the contest with 18 points and 10 rebounds for her team-high fourth double-double of the season.
Simpson controlled the interior game against the Red Devils on Thursday, outscoring EC in the paint, 62-20, and holding a 56-34 advantage on the glass. The Storm has qualified for the NCAA Division III tournament in each of the past four seasons and is currently receiving votes in the D3Hoops.com Top 25 poll.
EETEN NETS THIRD SLIAC HONOR...
Sophomore guard Caty Eeten was named the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Week for the third time this season, the league announced late Tuesday night. Eeten averaged 28.0 points and shot 54 percent from the field at the D3Hoops.com Classic.
Eeten, who never left the floor in either game, added eight rebounds, six assists, three blocks and three steals on the trip and shot 85 percent (17-for-20) from the foul line.
...AND REMAINS THE D-III SCORING LEADER
According to the latest weekly statistic report from the NCAA released on Tuesday, Eeten remains the Division III scoring leader with 29.1 points per game. She also ranks 33rd nationally with a .551 field goal percentage.
As a team, Eureka ranks among the national top-50 in scoring (80.0, fourth), scoring margin (+15.0, 40th) and rebound margin (+7.8, 46th).
THE BYARD WATCH
The only active four-year member of the Eureka women’s basketball program, forward Lisa Byard continues to climb the program’s all-time rebounding list.
Byard upped her career total to 589 during the Red Devils’ two-game trip to Las Vegas last week. Byard, who has started all 83 games of her collegiate career since the 2008-09 season, needs 18 rebounds to tie Kelly Ducat (1988-92) for seventh place.
MARTIN CLAIMS FOURTH PLACE
Last Tuesday’s victory over Concordia moved second-year head coach Taren Martin into sole possession of fourth place on the all-time Eureka women’s basketball coaching wins list. She needs three more victories this season to move into third place on the list.
Senior forward Khassandrae Brown played her 1,000th minute in a Eureka uniform during the second half of last Tuesday’s game against Concordia.
Junior guard Jay Stewart set new career-highs with 12 rebounds and three assists last Tuesday against Concordia, and 10 points last Thursday versus Simpson.
Tuesday’s win over Concordia improved the Red Devils to 15-2 when outrebounding the opponent and 13-1 when leading at halftime since Taren Martin became head coach.
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