Preview: Red Devils Look For Sweep of Iowa Wesleyan Wednesday

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

MOUNT PLEASANT, Iowa -- The Eureka College women's basketball team will look to extend its three-game win streak against Iowa Wesleyan when the Red Devils visit the Tigers for a 6 p.m. start Wednesday in Mount Pleasant, Iowa.

PDF Version of Eureka Women's Basktball Game Notes

The Red Devils will prepare for their final two games of the regular season with a 16-7 overall record and an 11-3 mark in conference action. Eureka, which won its first SLIAC Tournament last season, clinched a conference tournament berth last week to extend the league's longest active streak of semifinal appearances to seven (2012-18).
Eureka remains mathematically eligible to share the 2017-18 SLIAC regular-season championship. League-leading Greenville is 13-1 in conference action and owns a two-game lead over EC and Webster with two games remaining. The Panthers can clinch the outright league crown with a victory Wednesday at Spalding or in Saturday's regular-season finale against Webster.
Sophomore guard Kennedy Dura continues her pursuit of Eureka's single-season assist record. The Brimfield High School product will enter Wednesday's tilt in Mount Pleasant with 147 assists in 2017-18, one shy of Deb Kessinger's record of 148 set in 1990-91. 
Senior guard Hayley Reneau is also chasing a handful of single-season Eureka records. Reneau has 521 points this winter, needing 73 more points to match Caty Eeten's 2011-12 program record of 594. Reneau has already joined Eeten and Sherry Bryan as the only players in the 43-year history of the program to score 500 points in a season. Reneau is also five 3-pointers short of equaling Emily Camden's 2014-15 EC record of 78 3-pointers.
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. 
Kennedy Dura poured in a career-high 23 points and Samantha Sarnes scored 19 points off the bench, driving the Red Devils to an 81-75 SLIAC victory over Westminster, Saturday afternoon at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena.
Eureka had a 42-33 lead at halftime and threatened to put the game out of reach with a 7-0 run that resulted in a 58-41 lead with 4:15 to go in the third quarter. The visitors refused to go away and got within four, 71-67, with 5:19 remaining in the game. The Red Devils responded with another 7-0 stretch and led by five points or more for the remainder of the contest.
Sarnes made three 3-pointers to increase her career total to 76, ninth most in the history of the program. Ashley Harfst reached double figures with 12 points, Lexi Dooley netted 11 and Kerrigan Dura narrowly missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
Iowa Wesleyan will play its home finale Wednesday. The Tigers have dropped three consecutive contests to fall to 4-18 overall and 4-10 against SLIAC opponents. IWU lost at Fontbonne last Saturday, 67-53.
Junior guard Darby Massner is one of five Tigers to appear in all 22 games and leads the team with 15.5 points per game. She shoots 77 percent at the free throw line. Josie Zerrusen follows with 11.6 points per contest and Allie Massner logs 8.4 points on average. Darby Massner is the team's most effective rebounder with 6.7 per game. IWU ranks last in the league with 54.8 points per game and gets to the free throw line a league-worst 14.8 times per contest.
The Tigers are ineligible for the NCAA and SLIAC postseasons due to their provisional status as a member of Division III. Now in their fifth season, the Tigers are 59-25 all-time in SLIAC competition, but were picked seventh in a 2017-18 preseason coaches' poll. The 2017-18 season is IWU's final provisional season as its completes its transition from NAIA to NCAA Division III.
The Red Devils own a 12-6 record against IWU since the 1983-84 season, including a 4-3 record in Mount Pleasant. Since becoming league rivals prior to the 2013-14 season, the Tigers have won five of nine contests between the two schools.
Kennedy Dura scored 20 points, Hayley Reneau also tallied 20 and all nine available Red Devils scored in EC's 84-46 SLIAC victory over Iowa Wesleyan on Jan. 13, 2018.
Eureka led 30-8 after one quarter and 47-18 at halftime. Samantha Sarnes netted 14 points off the bench and Lexi Dooley delivered a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. The Red Devils overwhelmed IWU in the rebounding battle to the tune of a 54-33 advantage.
Josie Zerrusen scored 17 points in 37 minutes for IWU. The Tigers went 15-for-60 from the field, 4-for-24 from 3-point range and were credited with only three assists for the afternoon.
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 EC to consecutive berths to the SLIAC Tournament semifinals in 2012 and 2013, including an appearance in the title game in 2013.
Jack Bruns was named the 11th head coach in Iowa Wesleyan women's basketball history in April 2017. The Sioux City, Iowa native previously served the IWU men's team as an assistant
Bruns is a 2011 graduate of Central in Pella, Iowa. He scored 700 points in three seasons for the Dutch, averaging 9.0 points and 4.8 rebounds in 78 career appearances.