Eureka Takes Down MacMurray For 2-0 SLIAC Start, 82-66

Photo courtesy of Michael Hammerstrand.
Photo courtesy of Michael Hammerstrand.

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. -- Eureka College junior guard Shea Feehan (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame H.S.) earned his third career 40-point game, Hank Thomas (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods H.S.) tacked on 25 points and the Red Devils moved to 2-0 in St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play in an 82-66 league win at MacMurray, Saturday afternoon in Jacksonville, Ill.

Saturday's win improved Eureka to 6-1 through its first seven games for the second consecutive season and just the third time since the 1993-94 season. The Red Devils are 2-0 in the SLIAC for the first time since the 2011-12 season.

The Highlanders scored the first three points of the game -- which proved to be their largest advantage of the afternoon. The Red Devils promptly moved in front 8-5 on three Feehan free throws at the 16:05 mark of the first half. MC was able to regain a two-point lead midway through the frame, but a Thomas triple with 4:02 remaining before halftime broke a 26-26 deadlock and triggered a 14-4 run by the Red Devils to end the period. Ryan McElmurry (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg H.S./Black Hawk) gave the visitors their largest lead of the half when he buried a 3 from the left wing at the buzzer for a 40-30 cushion.

Eureka nearly put the contest out of reach by scoring eight of the first 10 points of the second half for a 48-32 lead. MacMurray quickly responded and pulled within two, 56-54, on a Brent Long 3-pointer with 11:20 left, but Eureka answered with Feehan triple less than a minute later. The Red Devils pushed their lead back to double digits on two Feehan foul shots for a 70-59 advantage with 5:19 to go.

The visitors led by as least three possessions the rest of the way. The Red Devils took their largest lead of the game, 80-63, on four free throws from Thomas in the final minute after an MC technical foul.

Feehan finished with 40 points. He made seven 3-pointers and went 11-for-12 from the free throw line. Thomas went 6-for-12 from the field and also punished MC at the line, going 10-for-11 for the afternoon. Jordan Dehm (Metamora, Ill./Metamora H.S.) had a team-high nine rebounds.

Long paced MC with 19 points and 14 rebounds. The Highlanders shot just 34 percent from the field went 4-for-25 from 3-point range.

Eureka will continue its challenging start to the conference schedule next Saturday in a 3 p.m. tip-off at Blackburn in Carlinville, Ill.