EUREKA – The Eureka men's basketball team found a way to shake Knox in the last 10 minutes of the game and pick up a hard-fought, 96-88 victory over the Prairie Fire.
The Red Devils moved to 2-2 on the season after a strong night in which the team racked up a season-high 19 assists, shot the ball well from all over the court, and won the battle on the boards.
Senior Ian Milsteadt (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) led the way with a season-high 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the floor. He gathered seven rebounds, registered three assists and knocked down three 3-pointers.
Fellow senior J'Len Crawford (Bloomington, Ill./Bloomington) was right behind him with 21 point while shooting 7-for-14 from the field and 5-of-11 from 3-point range. He was one rebound shy of a double-double and distributed three assists.
Sophomore Charlie McKinty (Elmwood, Ill./Elmwood) tallied 19 points on 6-of-10 shooting, with a pair of 3-pointers, five rebounds and a team-high three steals. He was one of five Red Devils to finish with at least five rebounds.
Junior big man Logan Dorethy (Hamilton, Ill./West Hancock) gathered five rebounds to go with a season-high eight points and sophomore big man Lane Thompson (Dwight, Ill./Dwight) gathered five and scored six.
Point guard Jalen Hosea (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods) posted a season-high seven points, a season-high six assists and one big rebound, while fellow guard Austyn Ellison (Hudson, Ill./Bloomington Central Catholic) tallied seven points and two rebounds.
The Red Devils and Prairie Fire played a very even first half that ended tied at 42-42. There were nine ties and eight lead changes before halftime.
The second half was neck-and-neck until the last 10 minutes.
After that, Eureka outscored the Prairie Fire 28-13 to build a 15-point lead with less than three minutes to play. Knox kept grinding and was able to take advantage of a few Red Devil miscues down the stretch to make the final score closer, but the game was already sealed
Eureka shot 50 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from 3-point range and 83.3 percent from the free-throw line on the night. The Red Devils bested Knox in rebounding, 43-37 and spread around 19 assists to Knox's 13.
Knox's Jordan Rayner finished with a team-high 24 points, while Matt Garife added 20. Cade Windham and Duane Goodman Jr. posted 12 and 11 points, respectively.
The Red Devils (2-2) will turn around and take on Division II Illinois-Springfield in a road exhibition game on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.