ELSAH, Ill. – At the end of the first quarter on Tuesday night, Principia put together a 10-2 run that momentarily put the Panthers in contention with the Eureka women.
It didn't last long.
The Red Devils went off for 28 points in the second quarter and cruised to the finish line from there, winning 73-44 at Hay Field House and extending their win streak to three games.
Olivia Falls (Bloomington, Ill./Bloomington) had a lot to do with it. After a scoreless first quarter, the 5-foot-7 freshman poured in 13 points in the second and finished with a career-high 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting from the field.
She also pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds, with nine coming in the second quarter, and swiped a team-high three steals.
Junior Ashley Harfst (Saunemin, Ill/Pontiac) also recorded a double-double, adding 10 points and 10 rebounds, while senior Samantha Sarnes (Havana, Ill./Havana) went 7-for-14 from the floor and tallied 15 points.
In addition to Falls' career bests, freshman Hannah Hamilton (Saybrook, Ill./Ridgeview) knocked down two 3-pointers to notch a career-high six points, and another freshman, Madison Darrow (Lowpoint, Ill./Lowpoint-Washburn), scored the first basket of her career.
With Eureka only leading by two heading into the second quarter, senior Kennedy Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield) opened the frame with a layup that started a scoreless streak for the Panthers that would last nearly four minutes.
By the time the home team put one in again, it had conceded 12 unanswered. The Red Devils proceeded to string together run after run, ultimately holding Principia to single digits in the frame.
EC led by 21 points at the break. In the second half, its lead swelled to as many as 33 points.
By game's end, the Red Devils had put up 81 shots to the Panthers 58, and outrebounded the home team 61-38. They racked up 44 points in the paint, 22 off turnovers and 19 off second chances.
The win put the Red Devils over .500 for the first time since November. They're now 11-10 on the season and 5-7 in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference heading into Saturday's SLIAC duel against Fontbonne (9-12, 5-7 SLIAC).