GALESBURG, Ill. – Eureka College senior guard Kerrigan Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield H.S.) put up the first triple-double on record in program history with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, but host Knox overcame a three-point deficit in the final two minutes of regulation to secure an 82-77 season-opening victory over the Red Devils, Wednesday night at Memorial Gymnasium in Galesburg, Ill.
Dura equaled a career high with 10 assists Wednesday and had nearly half of EC's 23 team assists. She entered the contest with two career double-doubles.
Eureka had a slim lead early before Jarrelyn McCall's 3-pointer gave the hosts a 7-6 lead midway through the first quarter. The Prairie Fire led for the remainder of the quarter and the advantage was 24-18 after 10 minutes.
Knox took its largest lead of the night, 29-18, on McCall's bucket early in the second, but the Red Devils battled back. A pair of free throws by Ashley Harfst (Saunemin, Ill./Pontiac H.S.) and a Samantha Sarnes (Havana, Ill./Havana H.S.) bucket pulled Eureka within a single possession in the final minute of the half. The hosts led 43-37 at halftime.
The hosts pushed their advantage back to nine points when Hailey Leinart hit a 3 for a 53-44 cushion midway through the third. Baskets by Kennedy Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield H.S.) and Sabrina Clay (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg H.S./Carl Sandburg) slashed the EC deficit back to two later in the quarter, but Eureka still trailed 65-58 after 30 minutes.
The Red Devils finally broke through for their first lead of the second half when Kerrigan Dura drilled a triple for a 69-68 lead with 4:59 left in the game. Eureka led by as many as three and held a one-point advantage into the final minute, but Morgan Potter's field goal with 53 seconds to play gave KC a 76-75 lead. Eureka missed a potential game-tying 3 in the final minute and pulled within a point on two Harfst free throws in the waning moments, but couldn't close the gap before time expired.
Hayley Reneau (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central) led EC with 19 points. Lexi Dooley (Sutter, Ill./Warsaw H.S.) chipped in 16 and Harfst added 11. Clay scored 10 in her Eureka debut. The Red Devils held a 46-43 advantage on the glass.
McCall led all players with 23 points and 11 rebounds. The hosts placed four starters in double figures.
Eureka will hit the road again Saturday for a 2 p.m. non-conference tip-off at Rockford.