Second-Half Surge Puts Away Blackburn, 103-76

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

EUREKA, Ill. – Eureka College junior guard Shea Feehan (Peoria, Ill./Notre Dame H.S.) scored 41 points to become the sixth player in program history to reach 1,500 in a career, junior Hank Thomas (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods H.S.) tallied 21 points and senior Ryan McElmurry (Galesburg, Ill./Galesburg H.S./Black Hawk) distributed 10 assists, lifting the Red Devils to a 103-76 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference throttling of Blackburn, Saturday afternoon at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena.

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Feehan finished 15-for-21 from the floor, 6-for-8 from 3-point range and 5-for-5 from the foul line to finish the game with 1,512 career points and pass Greg Nunn (1984-87) and Craig Negangard (2000-04) for fifth place on the Red Devils' all-time scoring list. He also gathered seven rebounds and didn't commit a turnover in 35 minutes action.

The Red Devils (13-6, 8-4 SLIAC) claimed a double-digit lead less than eight minutes into Saturday's action and led by as many as 12 when a Dakota Bennington (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Christian H.S./Olivet Nazarene) layup pushed EC in front 20-8 with 10:18 left before intermission.

Blackburn (10-9, 6-6 SLIAC) recovered to pull even 26-26 on Nigel Ferrell's triple at the 4:52 mark of the half. Feehan answered with a 3, triggering the hosts' 15-4 burst to end the frame. Bennington's foul shots in the final minute gave EC a 41-30 lead at the break.

A decisive run from the hosts to begin the second half put the game on ice. Feehan's jumper just 49 seconds into the period put the wheels in motion on a 14-0 surge capped by a thunderous Alex Wiegand (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S.) dunk for a 55-30 cushion. Duncan King ended the blitz with a 3-pointer, but Eureka maintained the pressure and took its largest lead, 91-60, on a Thomas trey with 5:31 left.

Bennington scored 13 and Wiegand registered 11 to join Feehan and Thomas in double figures. McElmurry's 10-assist showing was one shy of his career best. The Red Devils shot 57 percent from 3-point range.

Ferrell scored 19 for BC and King tacked on 16. The Beavers shot just 7-for-26 from 3-point range and 5-for-12 at the free throw line.

Eureka will return to the road in the SLIAC Wednesday at 8 p.m. against Webster in St. Louis, Mo.