ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Two Davian Joseph free throws in the waning seconds of the second half proved to be the difference in Webster's 79-78 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over the Eureka College men's basketball team, Wednesday night in St. Louis, Mo.
Eureka held a one-point lead in the final minute, but sent Joseph to the foul line with 13 seconds left. Joseph made both free throws to push the Gorloks to a 79-78 advantage. The Red Devils had time to shoot for the win on its ensuing possession but couldn't deliver points before time expired.
Webster led by as many as 10 points early in the first half before the visitors slowly chipped away at their deficit. A Dakota Bennington (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Christian H.S./Olivet Nazarene) 3-pointer capped EC's 16-9 run midway through the half and pulled the Red Devils within 23-20, but the Gorloks recovered and kept EC out of reach over the remainder of the half. WU led 40-36 at the break.
The Red Devils claimed their first lead of the night less than two minutes into the second period after Shea Feehan (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame H.S.) drilled back-to-back triples for a 44-42 lead. The Red Devils led by as many as five points on two different occasions, including two Bennington foul shots for a 78-73 lead with 2:45 to go.
Eureka didn't score again the Gorloks refused to go away. Josh Johnson's 3-pointer with 1:35 to go pulled WU within 78-76. Joseph split two free throws with 38 seconds left to pull the hosts within a point and scored the game-winning points just moments later. In all, the two squads traded the lead 14 times in the second half.
Feehan led the Red Devils with 20 points. Hank Thomas (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods H.S.) scored 15 and Bennington tallied 13. Eureka went 10-for-20 from 3-point range. Austin Juergens (Pekin, Ill./Pekin H.S.) pulled down a team-best seven rebounds and Ryan McElmurry (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg H.S.) registered nine assists.
Johnson shared game-high honors with 20 points for Webster. He and Christian Crespo each distributed seven assists. Nigel Wilcox finished with a double-double, 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Eureka will take its longest league road trip of the season this Saturday, visiting Spalding in Louisville, Ky. at 2 p.m. CST.