Eureka Delivers Late, Knocks Off Aurora, 91-83

Photo by Elly Maier.
Photo by Elly Maier.

EUREKA – For the first time since 2006, the Eureka women's basketball team came away victorious over Aurora on Tuesday afternoon.

The Red Devils dug deep and wrested the lead away from the Spartans in the fourth quarter, earning a 91-83 win at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena and Convocation Center.

In EC's first chance of the season to play with its full roster, the squad delivered late and captured its second non-conference win of the 2021-22 season.

Aurora held a slim lead for the most of the second half. The Red Devils went into the fourth quarter down three points and found themselves trailing by six with less than six minutes to play.

Then, the home team pieced together an 11-0 run that put it in the driver's seat for the last three minutes.

Abby Stotler (Wyoming, Ill./Stark County) started it with a scrappy putback that cut the lead to four with 5:30 remaining.

Less than a minute later, Shakaya Rogers (Hanover, Mich./Concord) drew a foul off a drive and put away two free throws to make it a two-point game, and on the next possession, Savanah Moore (Clinton, Ill./Mt. Pulaski) earned a trip to the line and swished both free throws to tie it up.

It was Moore who grabbed the next defensive rebound for the Red Devils, and took it all the way for the go-ahead fast-break layup.

A steal by Kennedy Jackson (Peoria, Ill./Limestone) led to a Jackson layup off a feed from Stotler that stretched the lead to four and prompted an Aurora timeout with 3:05 left.

The Red Devils made sure Aurora never got the momentum back after that.

Junior transfer Sydney Hannam (Canton, Ill./Canton) knocked down a 3-pointer off an assist by Rogers to give EC a six-point advantage with less than two minutes to play, and the home team put the game away at the free-throw line.

A season-high six Red Devils tallied double figures in the win, with Moore's career-high 20 points on 7-for-10 shooting leading the way. The junior guard came off the bench tallied 20 points in 28 minutes while adding five rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Hannam also notched a career-high, notching 16 points while hitting 9 of 13 free throws.

Rogers posted 13 points and a team-high five assists in her season debut. She put away 9 of 12 free-throw attempts.

Jackson and Olivia Falls (Bloomington, Ill./Bloomington) each had 12 points and Stotler contributed 11.

Five Eureka players recorded at least five rebounds. Jackson and freshman Josie Ness (Sandwich, Ill./Sandwich) both had six apiece, while Marissa Murphy (Canton, Ill./Canton), Moore and Stotler all had five. Murphy also distributed four assists.

Eureka shot a season-best 46.7 percent from the field on the night and racked up a season-high 16 assists.

The Red Devils (2-4) will next head to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to take on Grove City (4-3) on Thursday and Friday. Both games are set for 1 p.m. CT.