For Immediate Release
Women's Basketball -- Feb. 21, 2012
Red Devils Beat MacMurray in Regular Season Finale, 53-47
JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – Eureka College sophomore guard Caty Eeten (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S.) scored a game-high 23 points, leading the Red Devils to a 53-47 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference win over MacMurray, Tuesday night in Jacksonville, Ill. The victory secured the #2 seed for the Red Devils in the upcoming SLIAC Tournament.
Eureka (20-4, 13-3 SLIAC) led from wire-to-wire on Tuesday, getting four points from senior forward Lisa Byard (Morton, Ill./Morton H.S.) as part of a 9-2 run to begin the game. The visitors pushed their advantage to 10 points, 20-10, when junior guard Jay Stewart (Taylorville, Ill./Taylorville H.S./Illinois State) split a pair of free throws with 8:04 left in the first half.
The 10-point cushion proved to be Eureka’s largest lead of the night, as MacMurray (9-16, 4-12 SLIAC) answered with a 12-5 run over the next 7:09. MacMurray’s Whitney Wade hit a free throw to bring the Highlanders within a possession, 25-22, with 53 seconds left in the half. The Red Devils led 26-22 at intermission after Byard hit a foul shot with 30 seconds left before the horn.
Amy Radford scored early in the second half to help the hosts cut their deficit to 28-26, but Eureka responded with an 11-4 burst to claim a 39-30 cushion with 11:23 remaining in the game. MacMurray stayed within striking distance throughout the second half, pulling within four points on three different occasions in the final 6:29. Facing a 51-47 hole in the final minute of the contest, MacMurray was unable to score on two separate possessions, allowing Eeten to sink two free throws in the closing moments and secure Eureka’s 20th victory of the season.
Eeten grabbed seven rebounds to share team-high honors with seniors Khassandrae Brown (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria H.S./Kankakee) and Sara Hamilton (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central). Byard finished the contest with 10 points, her fourth outing this season in double-figures.
Fionnuala Toner compiled the game’s only double-double with 10 points and 10 boards for the Highlanders. Wade tacked on 17 points in the losing effort.
Tuesday’s decision secures the #2 seed for the Red Devils in the 2012 SLIAC Tournament. The Red Devils will square off against #3 Fontbonne in the semifinals on Friday at 6 p.m. in Fulton, Mo. Eureka swept both regular season contests from the Griffins. Top-seeded and tournament host Westminster will play #4 Webster in Friday’s nightcap at 8 p.m. The two semifinal winners will play for the tournament title and the SLIAC’s automatic berth to the NCAA Division III Tournament on Saturday at 7 p.m. in Fulton, Mo.
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