Red Devils Get 100th SLIAC Win Over Iowa Wesleyan, 110-101

Photo courtesy of Michelle Curl.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Curl.

EUREKA, Ill. – Playing in front of some of the most historic figures in the storied history of the Eureka College men's basketball program, the Red Devils made history of their own Saturday in a 110-101 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference victory over Iowa Wesleyan during EC's annual alumni celebration at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena. The decision marked EC's 100th regular-season SLIAC win since joining the league prior to the 2006-07 season.

Video Highlights | Watch Dakota Bennington's Dunk

Iowa Wesleyan scored on each of its first two possessions for an early cushion and led as late as 14-12 when Jake Neubauer broke a tied score with 15:36 left before halftime. Eureka claimed the momentum moments later when Shea Feehan's (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame H.S.) 3-pointer jump-started a 12-0 EC run and a 24-14 cushion. The Red Devils never trailed again and extended their lead to as many as 14 points in the first 20 minutes when Dakota Bennington (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Christian H.S./Olivet Nazarene) pushed down two free throws for a 57-43 lead in the final minute before halftime. EC led 59-46 at the break.

Alex Wiegand (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.) scored in the paint at the 16:07 mark of the second half to help Eureka expand its lead to 74-52. The Tigers slowly chipped away at their deficit over the next several minutes, clawing within single digits when Brock Butler's jumper forced an 84-75 score with 9:23 left. The hosts' lead slipped to as small as eight at the 5:08 mark, 96-88, but Feehan doused any remaining IWU comeback efforts when he answered with a 3-pointer on the ensuing sequence. EC was able to build its lead back to 17 in the final two minutes.

Feehan scored 28 points to pass Michael Zasada (2006-10) for eighth place on Eureka's all-time scoring list. Feehan's 1,350 career points are the most by any Red Devil of the Chip Wilde coaching era (2007-present). Feehan also made seven free throws to claim second place on the Red Devils' modern-era list with 337, moving in front of Eureka Hall of Famer Troy Tyler (1990-94).

Bennington added 23 and a team-best nine rebounds for EC, which won its seventh straight home contest and maintained its stranglehold on first place in the SLIAC standings with a 6-2 league record. Hank Thomas (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods H.S.) shot 7-for-11 for 18 points, Ryan McElmurry (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg H.S./Black Hawk) registered a double-double with 16 points and a career-high 11 assists and Wiegand reached double figures in scoring with 11. The Red Devils shot 60 percent as a team and went 12-for-25 from 3-point range.

Brock Butler registered game highs with 32 points and 10 rebounds. Neubauer poured in 28. IWU lost despite making 14 3-pointers.

The Red Devils became the eighth SLIAC school to reach 100 regular-season conference victories. EC, which has advanced to the SLIAC Tournament championship game three times (2007, 2010, 2013), is 100-94 in regular-season SLIAC competition since the 2006-07 campaign.

Eureka will return to the road Wednesday, tipping off at 8 p.m. against Fontbonne in St. Louis, Mo.