Preview: Red Devils Seek Redemption Saturday at Rockford

Photo courtesy of Michael Hammerstrand.
Photo courtesy of Michael Hammerstrand.

ROCKFORD, Ill. -- The Eureka College women's basketball team will look to bounce back from Wednesday's season-opening road defeat when the Red Devils travel to Rockford on Saturday for a 2 p.m. non-conference tip-off. EC has lost eight straight games to the Regents in Rockford and will also look to avenge an 92-87 overtime loss to RU last November at the Reagan Athletic Complex.

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The Red Devils opened the season 0-1 after an 82-77 defeat at Knox to begin the season last Wednesday. Eureka will try to avoid an 0-2 start for the second time in the last three seasons.
Eight letterwinners return from Eureka's 20-win team that swept the the SLIAC regular season and tournament championships and went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. Seven of the returnees played in at least 27 games and four started at least 14 contests. 
Kerrigan Dura put up the first triple-double on record in program history with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, but host Knox overcame a three-point deficit in the final two minutes of regulation to secure an 82-77 season-opening victory over the Red Devils, Wednesday night at Memorial Gymnasium in Galesburg, Ill.
Knox took its largest lead of the night, 29-18, but the Red Devils battled back. A pair of free throws by Ashley Harfst and a Samantha Sarnes bucket pulled Eureka within a single possession in the final minute of the half. The hosts led 43-37 at halftime.
The Red Devils finally broke through for their first lead of the second half when Kerrigan Dura drilled a triple for a 69-68 lead with 4:59 left in the game. Eureka led by as many as three and held a one-point advantage into the final minute, but Morgan Potter's field goal with 53 seconds to play gave KC a 76-75 lead. Eureka missed a potential game-tying 3 in the final minute and pulled within a point on two Harfst free throws in the waning moments, but couldn't close the gap before time expired.
Hayley Reneau led EC with 19 points. Lexi Dooley chipped in 16 and Harfst added 11. Sabrina Clay scored 10 in her Eureka debut. The Red Devils held a 46-43 advantage on the glass.
Rockford will open its regular season Saturday. The Regents went 8-17 overall last season and 6-14 in Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference play. 
RU, which returns three of its top five scorers from a year ago, was picked 10th out of 12 teams in a preseason NACC coaches' poll.
The Regents lost their top two scorers from a year ago. Junior Nicole Silvers is RU's top returning scorer after starting all 25 games last season, putting up 9.6 points per contest and shooting 41 percent from the floor. 
Senior Casey Pettit is also back after pouring in 7.3 points per game and senior Tajanae Key tallied an average of 6.7 points per game. Key was the Regents' leading rebounder last winter, hauling down 7.3 boards per game in 25 appearances.
Rockford University, located approximately 90 miles northwest of Chicago, has an undergraduate enrollment of approximately 900 students and was founded in 1847. The Regents compete as a full-time members of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference.
Eureka and Rockford have split 30 meetings (15-15) since the 1986-87 season. Last season's meeting was the first between the two schools in more than a decade. The two schools formerly competed as league rivals for 10 seasons in the Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference (1996-2006). When the NIIC folded in 2006, Eureka joined the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and the Regents became a charter member of the Norther Athletics Collegiate Conference.
The Red Devils own a 5-9 record in their last 14 contests inside RU's Seaver Center, including an 81-46 defeat in the 2005 NIIC Tournament championship game. Rockford has won five in a row overall against the Red Devils, eight in a row over EC at the Seaver Center and hasn't lost a home game to Eureka since Jan. 31, 1998.
Eureka will be playing its 151st game aginst an active member of the Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference since 1983 on Saturday. The Red Devils own a 77-73 record against the league in that time frame.
Eureka has previously played games against 11 of the NACC's 12 active members. EC's 27 wins over Concordia (Ill.) represent its largest win total against any NACC school.
The Red Devils previously competed as league rivals in the now-defunct Northern Illinois-Iowa Conference with Aurora, Benedictine, Concordia (Ill.) and Rockford.
Amos Arbogast is in his first season as head coach of the Red Devils. He was selected as the 12th head coach in program history on July 6, 2017. 
Arbogast had previously served the EC men's basketball program as an assistant coach for six seasons and played pivotal role as an assistant for a program that has proved to be an annual contender in the SLIAC. Arbogast helped guide the Red Devils to consecutive berths to the SLIAC Tournament semifinals in 2012 and 2013, including an appearance in the title game in 2013.
Jessica Stanek was named Rockford's 12th head coach in July 2008. Stanek has led the Regents to the NACC Tournament in four of her nine seasons. A native of Tripoli, Iowa, Stanek joined the Regents' women's basketball staff after a four-year playing career at Division II Minnesota State. As a four-year scholarship player for the Mavericks, Stanek made the North Central Conference Commissioner's Academic Honor Roll her final three years and was named Mavericks' captain for the 2006-07 season.
Rockford will provide a live video broadcast and live statistics of Saturday's game. Links to both services will be available at, and