Eureka Comes Through at Westminster, 93-74

File photo.
File photo.

FULTON, Mo. – The Eureka men's basketball team got one back and scored a big road victory over Westminster on Saturday.

The Red Devils shot a season-high 62.1 percent from the field en route to a 93-74 victory at Historic Gymnasium.

With the triumph, EC improved to 12-7 on the season and 7-5 in St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play – and avenged a 96-84 loss at home against the Blue Jays earlier this season.

On Saturday, Dakota Bennington (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Christian) led the way with a 32-point, 5-rebound and 1-block performance. The senior shot 11-of-19 from the field, 3-of-7 from 3-point range and 5-of-7 from the free-throw line.

It was his sixth 30-point game of the season and third in the last four games.

Jordan Dehm (Metamora, Ill./Metamora) followed with 14 points, and Austin Juergens (Pekin, Ill./Pekin) added 12. Dehm gathered a team-high seven rebounds and distributed a team-high six assists. Juergens was an efficient 5-of-8 from the floor.

Jalen Hosea (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods) contributed 10 points while going 4-for-5 from the field with five boards and two steals.

Jaedon Banks (Peoria, Ill./Peoria Heights) provided solid defense in the paint, along with five points, four rebounds and two blocks.

The Red Devils' bench combined for 20 points, with Chris Daniels (Peoria, Ill./Peoria) notching eight. He, Ian Milsteadt (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) and J'Len Crawford (Bloomington, Ill./Bloomington) each hit a 3-pointer off the bench.

The last time these two teams met, the Blue Jays went off for 16 3-pointers, with Ethan Thompson hitting 10 alone and finishing with a game-high 35 points.

The Red Devils held Westminster to seven 3-pointers on 30 attempts on Saturday. Thompson only hit three 3-pointers and scored 10 points this time around.  Omar Wright tallied a team-high 21 on 9-of-15 shooting in 20 minutes off the bench for the home team.

The visitors led from wire to wire on Saturday, expanding the lead to as many as 19 with 4:30 left in the first half.

The team shot a sizzling 64.5 percent in the first half, making 20 of 31 shots, including 3 of 7 triples. A Dehm layup in the final minute put EC up 49-33 at halftime.

In the second half, however, the Blue Jays came out hard and fired back. They went on a 7-2 run to quickly make it an 11-point game, and had it down to single digits 3 1/2 minutes into the frame.

A pair of 3-pointers from reserve guards Daniels and Milsteadt made it 58-48 with 13 minutes left, but a quick five-point swing by the Blue Jays trimmed the lead to eight less than a minute later.

Wright cut the deficit to seven with a layup with 8:56 left, but after a Westminster timeout, the Red Devils outpaced the Blue Jays 25-13 the rest of the way.

The maroon and gold went 6-for-8 from the free-throw line down the stretch to help put the home team away, and shot 15-for-19 from the stripe in the game.

The Red Devils (12-7, 7-5 SLIAC) are now tied with Blackburn for fourth place in the SLIAC standings. EC will face MacMurray (8-11, 5-7 SLIAC) on the road on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.