For Immediate Release
Women's Basketball -- Feb. 24, 2012
Red Devils Advance to SLIAC Title Game
FULTON, Mo. – Eureka College sophomore guard Caty Eeten (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S.) scored a game-high 28 points and went a perfect 9-for-9 from the free throw line, leading the #2 Red Devils to a 63-56 victory over #3 Fontbonne in the semifinals of the 2012 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, Friday night on the campus of Westminster College in Fulton, Mo. The Red Devils will square off against top-seeded Westminster on its home floor for the tournament title Saturday at 7 p.m.
The Red Devils (21-4) set a positive tone early, sprinting to a 9-0 advantage less than four minutes into the contest behind seven points from Eeten. Senior guard Sara Hamilton (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central) hit a 3-pointer less than a minute later, giving the Red Devils their largest lead of the night (12-2) and forcing a Fontbonne timeout.
The Griffins (15-11) were able to settle in and pull even at 21-21 on Hilary Johnson’s triple with 5:21 left before halftime. Allison Hogan gave Fontbonne its first lead of the night with a layup for a 23-22 edge at the 4:17 mark. The two squads would go on to trade the lead on 3-pointers from Eureka junior guard Jay Stewart (Taylorville, Ill./Taylorville H.S./Illinois State) and FU’s Shelby Ellison in the final 3:22. Eeten scored in the final moments of the half, but Fontbonne led 28-27 at the break.
Eureka forced the third time of the night (31-31) on Eeten’s transition bucket with 17:21 left and ultimately regained the lead, 33-31, when Eeten successfully converted a 3-point play with 16:38 to play. Fontbonne responded with a 16-10 stretch over the next 7:44 and took its largest lead of the night, 47-43, on Johnson’s 3-pointer with 8:54 remaining.
The Red Devils answered their biggest deficit of the night with eight unanswered points for a 51-47 cushion. A layup from senior forward Khassandrae Brown (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria H.S./Kankakee) regained the lead for EC at 49-47, and the Red Devils would lead for the remainder of the night. Brown’s bucket was part of a 16-2 run late in the game that allowed Eureka to equal its largest advantage. Brown’s layup at 2:02 gave EC a 59-49 lead.
The late run by the Red Devils was enough to earn the seven-point victory. The Griffins clawed within five with 27 seconds left on two foul shots from Ellison, but the Red Devils made four of their last six free throws to secure their first trip to the SLIAC Tournament championship game.
In addition to her perfect showing at the charity stripe, Eeten went 9-for-15 from the field to earn her 28 points. She also hauled in nine rebounds. Brown was also a force for EC, finishing the contest with 25 points and a game-high 11 boards.
Ellison paced the Griffins with 20 points. Chelsey Freymuth added 13 points and a team-best nine rebounds.
The Red Devils will play Westminster for the title on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Blue Jays limited #4 Webster to seven points in the second half of their semifinal tilt on Friday, turning a slim six-point lead at halftime into a 69-35 blowout victory. Both participants in Saturday’s championship game will be playing for their first-ever SLIAC Tournament title.
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