MacMurray Clips Red Devils, 88-87

Photo courtesy of Michelle Curl.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Curl.

EUREKA, Ill. -- Eureka College junior guard Shea Feehan (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame H.S.) scored 30 points and sophomore Dakota Bennington (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Christian H.S./Olivet Nazarene) added 15, two of four Red Devils to reach double figures in an 88-87 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference loss to MacMurray, Wednesday night at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena.

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Wednesday's outcome was in doubt until the final possession. Eureka trailed by six, 87-81, after Taten Musso's bucket with 54 seconds to go. EC scored on back-to-back possessions to get back within three, 88-85, and later rallied within 88-87 after two Ryan McElmurry (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg H.S./Black Hawk) free throws with 23 seconds remaining.

MacMurray's Brent Long was quickly fouled and missed both ensuing free throws, giving EC a chance to shoot for the win in the closing seconds. After a series of timeouts, the Red Devils' out-of-bounds play under the basket with 1.5 seconds remaining was unsuccessful.

Neither team was able to gain much traction throughout a back-and-forth first half. Eureka led as late as the 2:38 mark of the period, but Musso's triple just 17 seconds later allowed the Highlanders to score 10 of the half's final 14 points for a 44-38 lead at intermission.

MC threatened to put the contest out of reach midway through the second half when its advantage reached 11 on two different occasions, including a 70-59 lead on Marshall Corbin's 3-pointer with 8:55 to play. Eureka pushed back with an 8-0 run powered by three Feehan layups and finally leveled the score at 79-79 on two Austin Juergens (Pekin, Ill./Pekin H.S.) free throws with 2:57 left. Long answered with a layup on the next trip and MC would lead the rest of the way.

Feehan went 13-for-23 from the floor and finished the contest with 1,471 career points to move in front of Greg Nunn (1984-87) for sixth place on Eureka's all-time scoring list. Bennington went 6-for-6 from the free throw line and Juergens netted a career-high 14 points thanks to an 8-for-8 effort at the charity stripe. Eureka shot 47 percent from the field as a team and committed only 10 turnovers.

Long finished with 20 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, the game's only double-double.

Wednesday's defeat was Eureka's first home loss of the season and ended the Red Devils' seven-game home win streak. EC will try to start a new home win streak Saturday when Blackburn visits for a 3 p.m. matchup at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena.