Red Devils Stay Sharp, Pounce on Principia, 112-93

File photo.
File photo.

ELSAH, Ill. – Dakota Bennington (Peoria, Ill./Peoria) dropped a season-high 31 points and the Eureka men's basketball team seized its second straight road win over a league opponent with a 112-93 victory at Principia on Saturday.

Bennington, a senior, went 13-for-20 from the field, made two 3s, sunk all three of his free-throw opportunities and added five rebounds, three assists, three steals and a block as Eureka moved to 6-1 on the season and 2-0 in St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play.

Fellow senior Austin Juergens (Pekin, Ill./Pekin) followed with 22 points, five rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block. Jordan Dehm (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) came off the bench and contributed his second straight double-double, finishing with 14 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.

Ian Milsteadt (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) notched 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds in 22 minutes, and senior reserve Kyler Stork posted a career-high 10 points and three boards in 10 minutes. Ten Red Devils got on the board and 17 checked in the game.

Eureka shot 51.2 percent from the field on the game (44-for-86). Principia shot a hair better at 51.5 (35-68), but EC maintained control by pushing the pace, taking care of the ball and scoring 28 points off 13 turnovers.

The maroon and gold also outrebounded the Panthers 51-32 and led by as many 29 points with a little over five minutes left in the game.

In the first half, EC stormed out of the gate with a 10-2 run and built a 17-point cushion at 34-17 with 9:10 left until halftime.

The Panthers, however, regrouped and outscored the Red Devils 27-22 the rest of the half to make it 56-44 at the break. Trevaughn Goodman's running 3-pointer at the buzzer moved Principia within 12 and in position to make a run at EC in the second half.

Principia had it within nine with 17:30 remaining, but the Red Devils responded with a quick 11-0 run. A 3-pointer by Milsteadt prompted a timeout by the home team with 15:39 left. The run continued when play resumed, with a Stork putback and a Bennington layup that made it a 15-0 run – and gave EC a 24-point advantage.

Clark Davidson finished with a team-high 22 points for the Panthers, while Goodman followed with 18 – his second-lowest point total of the season.

It ended up being Eureka's second victory in which the team reached 100 points this season, and the most points scored in a single game aside from EC's 122-115 win over Grinnell.

The Principia win also marked the Red Devils' second 6-1 start in the past three years. As of Saturday, Eureka and Greenville are the only two teams in the SLIAC to start off league play 2-0.

Eureka (6-1, 2-0 SLIAC) will continue SLIAC play next Saturday at home against Westminster (2-6, 1-1 SLIAC) at 3 p.m.