Red Devils Improve to 5-0, Blast MacMurray, 83-42

Courtesy of Michael Hammerstrand.
Courtesy of Michael Hammerstrand.

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. – The Eureka College women's basketball team continued its best start to a conference schedule in the program's NCAA Division III history on Saturday, cruising to an 83-42 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over MacMurray in Jacksonville, Ill. The win improved the Red Devils to 9-5 overall and 5-0 against league opponents.

Eureka made sure Saturday's outcome was never in doubt, racing to a 15-0 lead less than four minutes into the game. Four of Eureka's five starters made a field goal during the early blitz, as the Red Devils kept the hosts off the scoreboard until the 4:53 mark of the period. EC led 21-7 at the end of the frame.

The Red Devils opened the second quarter with another lengthy run, scoring the first 17 points of the period to open up a 38-7 lead. The advantage was 46-11 at intermission.

EC led 63-24 after three quarters. The second-half lead ballooned to as many as 46 points when senior Luci Weis (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community H.S.) gave the Red Devils a 76-30 cushion with 5:36 left in the game.

All 11 Red Devils saw the floor in the victory, nine of which scored. Senior forward Lexi Dooley (Sutter, Ill./Warsaw H.S.) made her first start of the season and put up a game-high 15 points. Junior guard Kerrigan Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield H.S.) finished the contest with 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Freshman guard Ashley Harfst (Saunemin, Ill./Pontiac H.S.) matched a career-best with 14 points and junior guard Hayley Reneau (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central) chipped in with 11.

Saturday's win marked Eureka's largest margin of victory over MacMurray since a 102-61 triumph over the Highlanders at the Reagan Athletic Complex during the 1992-93 season. It's also the Red Devils' biggest win over the Highlanders in Jacksonville since a 99-43 decision during the 1984-85 campaign.

With league foes Greenville and Webster suffering losses on Saturday, Eureka is at least two games ahead of every SLIAC member school in the loss column in the current league standings. Eureka will put its perfect SLIAC record on the line again Wednesday when the Red Devils travel to defending SLIAC Tournament champion Greenville for a 6 p.m. start.