For Immediate Release
Women's Basketball -- Jan. 8, 2011
Red Devils Fall to SLIAC Leader Westminster, 79-72
EUREKA, Ill. – The Eureka College women’s basketball team shot a blistering 96.8 percent (30-for-31) from the free throw line during Saturday’s league game against St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference leader Westminster, but the visiting Blue Jays forced 28 Eureka turnovers on their way a 79-72 conference win over the Red Devils at the Reagan Center.
Eureka (3-8, 1-4 SLIAC) took a 9-8 lead, its first and only advantage of the game, on a jumper by junior forward Khassandrae Brown (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria H.S./Kankakee) with 15:40 left in the opening half. The Blue Jays responded with a 14-4 run to stretch their lead to 22-13, but Eureka junior forward Lisa Byard (Morton, Ill./Morton H.S.) scored seven of her season-high 17 points over the next 3-minutes, 5-seconds to answer. Byard’s 3-point play with 7:22 left before halftime forced a 22-22 tie.
Westminster (8-5, 5-0 SLIAC) closed the half with a flurry, stretching its lead to as many as 12 points before taking a 42-32 advantage into halftime. The Blue Jays shot 50.0 percent (16-for-32) and received nine points apiece from Liz Klaffenbach and Leigh Ann Lutz in the first 20 minutes.
The visitors maintained their double-digit advantage for a large portion of the second half and saw their lead balloon to as many as 18 points, 72-54, on Kenna Cornelson’s interior bucket with 7:27 left in regulation. Eureka used a 16-5 run to claw back within single-digits, 77-70, on two foul shots from Byard with 54 seconds left, but the Red Devils ran out of time in their bid to hand the Blue Jays their first league loss of the season.
Brown played the full 40 minutes for the second time this season and led the Red Devils with 22 points, going 8-for-8 from the free throw line. Byard finished with 17 points and collected a game-high 11 rebounds. Freshman guard Caty Eeten (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S.) scored in double-figures for the third time since joining the team last month with 16 points, while freshman guard Kiley Bugaieski (Tremont, Ill./Tremont H.S.) poured in a career-high 15 points. Byard, Brown and Bugaieski combined to go 23-for-23 from the foul line. The Red Devils outrebounded Westminster, 42-29.
Cornelson went 9-for-12 from the field to score a game-high 24 points. She shared team-high honors with Lutz with five rebounds. Rachel Backes, who entered Saturday’s game as the SLIAC’s leading scorer with 16.5 points per game, scored 11 points and dished out a game-high six assists in 37 minutes.
Eureka’s effort from the free throw line on Saturday was its best since shooting 100 percent (6-for-6) at Blackburn on Jan. 7, 2009. The Eureka single-game record for free throw percentage of 100 percent has been matched several times, and Eureka’s 16-for-16 effort against Mundelein (Ill.) during the 1990-91 season were the most free throws made in a single game without a miss.
Eureka will take the lengthy trip to Louisville, Ky. this Wednesday to visit Spalding for a 6 p.m. SLIAC start.
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