THE OPENING TIP-OFF
EUREKA — After a prolific week that featured three wins in four days, the Eureka women's basketball team is ready to host its first home St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference game of the season.
The Red Devils will face Westminster inside Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena and Convocation Center on Saturday at 1 p.m.
The EC women are back home after ripping off their second three-game winning streak of the season last week. The Red Devils won three games by an average of nearly 42 points per game.
First, they opened SLIAC play last Wednesday with an 84-55 victory at Blackburn. The following night, they beat Calvary Bible by 30 points in an 88-58 win. Then, on Saturday, the Red Devils put up historic numbers in an 86-20 rout at Principia.
It was only the fourth time in program history that Eureka has recorded a 66-point margin of victory, and Principia's 20-point total was the fewest points allowed against the Red Devils dating back to 1983.
Senior Ashley Harfst put together an eye-popping double-double of a career-high 21 rebounds and 19 points while making three 3-pointers. She averaged over 14 points and 15 rebounds per game on the week.
Freshman guard Jadyn Mitchell racked up a team-high 21 points while knocking down a trio of 3s, tying her career high in points. Another senior, Kennedy Dura added 15 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Olivia Falls also notched a double-double, finishing with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
In her fourth season as a key contributor for the Red Devils, Dura is continuing to work her way up the Red Devils' record books. She's now eighth in career 3-point field goals at 116, tied for seventh in career blocked shots and is just 10 behind program record holder Molly Hardesty in assists, with 405 to the 2006 graduate's 415.
Harfst, meanwhile, is up to sixth in career free throws with 296 and eighth in free-throw attempts at 375. Owner of 500-plus rebounds, she leads the league in rebounds per game (12.4), total rebounds (89) and free throws (54-for-61).
Falls is second behind Harfst in rebounds per game (11.1), total rebounds (89), total points (126) and free throws (38-for-57), and leads the league in field-goal percentage at 59.5.
The Red Devils, who were projected to finish fifth in the league in the SLIAC preseason poll, lead the conference in points (81.8), rebounds (49.4) and steals (24.6) per game.
The Blue Jays are headed to Eureka coming off their first SLIAC victory of the season and only their second overall win. They're now 2-4 on the year and 1-1 in league play.
Last week, the Blue Jays couldn't keep with Greenville in an 81-58 road loss and ran away from Iowa Wesleyan at home in a 99-47 rout.
In the latter, five Westminster players reached double figures, with Abbie Reece's 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor and 7-of-9 shooting from the stripe leading the way. Reese Arnold followed with 15, Kallee Dowler added 13 off the bench and Rei Imamura and Mikalyn Callahan each had 10.
Arnold has been the Blue Jays' leading scorer on the season at 14.3 points per game on 37.2 percent shooting. She also leads the league in free-throw shooting at 93.8 (followed by her sister Jackie Arnold at 93.2.), and is fifth in the SLIAC in 3-point shooting at 39.4.
Callahan is fifth in the league in rebounds per game at 8.8 and fourth in total blocks with seven. Imamura is currently fifth in assists at 27.
The Blue Jays lead the league in 3-point shooting at 37.5 percent and free-throw shooting at 80 percent, and commit the fewest turnovers per game as a team at 15.7
Westminster was voted to finish fourth in the SLIAC preseason poll.