Preview: Eureka Welcomes Fontbonne Saturday For Senior Day

Photo courtesy of Bob Hunt.
Photo courtesy of Bob Hunt.

EUREKA, Ill. -- The Eureka College women's basketball team will play its final game of the season at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena Saturday afternoon when Fontbonne visits for a 1 p.m. St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tip-off. EC seniors Kerrigan Dura and Hayley Reneau will be recognized during a ceremony immediately following the conclusion of Saturday's contest.

PDF Version of Eureka Women's Basketball Game Notes

The Red Devils have won nine of 11 contests since the arrival of the New Year to own a 17-7 overall record and a 12-3 mark against SLIAC foes. Eureka downed Iowa Wesleyan Wednesday 78-54 to secure its ninth road win of the season, its most true road wins in a season since winning nine during the 2011-12 campaign.
EC has qualified for its seventh consecutive SLIAC Tournament and is locked into next Friday's 6 p.m. semifinal game against Webster. Greenville clinched the outright regular-season crown on Wednesday and will host a yet-to-be-determined opponent in the 8 p.m. semifinal. Eureka will clinch the tournament's second seed with a win over Fontbonne Saturday.
Eureka averages 81.2 points per game --  sixth-most in the nation -- and is on pace to break the program's single-season team scoring average record of 79.5 set during the 1992-93 season. The Red Devils also rank fourth in Division III with 19.4 assists per game and eighth with 203 3-pointers made. 
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. 
EC seniors Kerrigan Dura and Hayley Reneau will be recognized during a ceremony immediately following the conclusion of Saturday's contest. The Red Devils have won on Senior Day in five of the last six seasons, including wins over Fontbonne in 2012 and 2016.
Dura enters her final home game with 379 career assists, second-most in the history of the program. Her 131 assists this season rank fifth on Eureka's single-season list and she is the only player in program history to have two different seasons with at least 130 assists. The Edwards, Ill. native is also the only player in Division III to have two triple-doubles this season.
Reneau has put together one of the top offensive seasons in program history, tallying 541 points to rank fourth on Eureka's single season list. She can still reach Caty Eeten's single-season record of 594 set in 2011-12 and needs just four more 3-pointers to break Emily Camden's 2014-15 single-season record of 78. Reneau, who transferred from NJCAA Illinois Central in the summer of 2016, has scored 928 points at EC, most by a two-year player in program history.
Kennedy Dura scored 11 points and distributed seven assists, increasing her season assist total to 154 to break the program's single-season record for assists in the Red Devils' 78-54 SLIAC triumph at Iowa Wesleyan on Wednesday.
Dura broke Deb Kessinger's Eureka record of 148 set during the 1990-91 season. Dura will enter Saturday's game ranked fourth nationally in assists.
Fontbonne will enter Saturday's game in desperate need of a victory to keep its SLIAC Tournament hopes alive. The Griffins have won three in a row, including a 67-53 home victory over Iowa Wesleyan last weekend, to improve to 12-12 overall and 8-7 in league action. 
Junior guard Paige Black scores 11.4 points per game, the only Griffin to average double figures. Sophomore Raven Venegas and freshman Rylee Stafford add 9.6 points per contest and Venegas is the team's top rebounder with 5.3 per game. 
FBU is currently tied for fourth place in the SLIAC standings with in-state rival Westminster, but the Blue Jays own a potential tiebreaker with the Griffins thanks to their Nov. 29 win over Webster. Fontbonne's only path to the fourth seed in next weekend's tournament is beating the Red Devils Saturday, coupled with a Westminster defeat Saturday against Blackburn.
The Griffins lead the all-time series with Eureka, 16-13, but the Red Devils have significantly turned the tide over the last half decade. EC has won 12 of the last 15 meetings with FBU since January 2012, including a 77-68 win in St. Louis last month. EC has won five in a row over the Griffins at the Reagan Athletic Complex, including last season's 86-55 rout in the SLIAC Tournament semifinals.
Hayley Reneau poured in 30, Kerrigan Dura earned a double-double with a career-high 15 rebounds with 11 assists and Kennedy Dura also logged a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists, driving the Red Devils to a 77-68 SLIAC win at Fontbonne on Jan. 17 in St. Louis, Mo.
Fontbonne had a double-digit lead in the first half and held a lead deep into the third quarter, but Reneau's 3-pointer ignited an 11-3 burst to end the frame. EC led by as many as 12 in the final period.
Raven Venegas paced Fontbonne with 19 points. Paige Black scored 14.
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.
Maureen Sias, a 2003 graduate of Fontbonne, is in her fourth season as head coach of the Griffins.  She is 44-56 overall, guiding FBU a fourth-place SLIAC finish last season and the Griffins' first SLIAC Tournament apperance since 2012.
Sias played four seasons for the Griffins (1999-03) and holds the program's all-time record for free throw percentage (85%). She also served FBU as an assistant coach for five seasons prior to being appointed head coach in 2014 and owns a master's degree from Fontbonne.