Spalding Gets Edge over Eureka, 83-78

File photo.
File photo.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The Eureka men's basketball team's bid to start off St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play 3-0 fell short at Spalding on Saturday.

The Red Devils fell behind in the last 12 minutes of the game and couldn't close the gap in time, falling 83-78.

Ian Milsteadt (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria/Illinois Central College) scored a team-high 23 points in a losing effort for the Red Devils. After dropping 50 points in a close win over Blackburn last weekend, the SLIAC Player of the Week made 10 of 12 free throw attempts, grabbed seven rebounds, made three steals and three blocks.

Logan Dorethy (Hamilton, Ill./West Hancock H.S./Hannibal-LaGrange) followed with 22 points and a team-high 10 rebounds to notch his first double-double of the season. Austyn Ellison (Hudson, Ill./Bloomington Central Catholic) added 11 points off the bench on 4-of-7 shooting, along with four rebounds, three steals and two assists, and Charlie McKinty (Elmwood, Ill./Elmwood H.S./Illinois College) had 10 points and six rebounds.

Spalding's Christian Stewart was the standout for the Golden Eagles, tallying a game-high 34 points on 13-of-26 shooting from the field and grabbing a team-high eight boards. Jacoby Johnson and Isaiah Lockard recorded 14 and 13 points, respectively.

The Red Devils went into the locker room with a five-point lead following a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Milsteadt before the half.

A quick 3-pointer by McKinty 10 seconds in the second half extended the lead to eight. Two minutes later, a rare 3-pointer by Dorethy made it 51-43. That ended up being the Red Devils' biggest advantage of the game.

Spalding scored six points in a row to make it a two-point game with 16:15 left, but Eureka stayed ahead until Maxton Campbell's jumper with 11:38 remaining. Milsteadt answered with a crossover and fadeaway baseline jumper on the next possession to regain the lead; however, a pair of technical foul calls quashed EC's momentum.

The Golden Eagles turned around and put together a 10-1 run, leading by a game-high nine points with 6:34 left. That's when the Red Devils started to chip away.

A Dorethy bucket and pair of free throws, and two more free throws by McKinty, put EC within six with 5:10 left. A steal by Jalen Hosea (Peoria, Ill./Richwoods) and basket by Milsteadt made it a five-point lead a minute later.

The closest EC would come was two points, at 73-73 with 3:18 left.

The Red Devils got there after Milsteadt sunk two foul shots after a Spalding technical, followed by a steal that led to Blake Castonguay (Watseka, Ill./Watseka/Illinois College) drawing a foul and going 1-for-2 at the line.

After that, EC couldn't capitalize on enough critical possessions while Spalding slowly sealed the win with a pair of jumpers and six straight made free throws.

The Red Devils (6-7, 2-1 SLIAC) will look to bounce back on Tuesday when they host Webster (3-10, 1-1 SLIAC) at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena and Convocation Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.