Webster Clips Red Devils at SLIAC Tournament, 56-52

Webster Clips Red Devils at SLIAC Tournament, 56-52

GREENVILLE, Ill. -- Eureka College sophomore Ashley Harfst (Saunemin, Ill./Pontiac H.S.) scored a game-high 20 points and junior Lexi Dooley (Sutter, Ill./Warsaw H.S.) led all players with 13 rebounds, but the second-seeded Red Devils couldn't get over the hump in a 56-52 defeat to third-seeded Webster in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals, Friday night in Greenville, Ill.

Webster grabbed the biggest lead of the game midway through the first quarter when Aley Lucas hit a jumper for a 13-5 lead. The Red Devils narrowed their deficit to 15-11 at the end of the quarter and later took their first lead of the night, 18-17, on Dooley's free throw with 5:51 remaining in the half.

Eureka pushed its lead to six when Harfst buried a pair of foul shots for a 25-19 cushion at the 3:47 mark of the second quarter. WU pushed back with eight in a row to regain the lead before two more Harfst free throws tied the game at 27-27 just before the first-half horn.

The Red Devils quickly scored the first four points of the second half before the Gorloks recovered to move back in front 40-37 on Natalie Busscher's triple with 4:01 left in the third. The Webster lead was 46-43 after 30 minutes.

Facing the deficit, Eureka scored five in a row to start the fourth quarter. The Red Devils took their final lead of the game when Harfst's layup made the score 52-51 with 3:15 remaining. Webster's Ebony Bailey was fouled and made two foul shots just eight seconds later.

Eureka produced two steals in the final three minutes and shot for the lead twice, but ultimately didn't score again. Kelsey Miller's layup moved WU's lead to 55-52 with 17 seconds left. EC got two looks at the basket in the closing seconds but couldn't find the bottom of the net.

Kerrigan Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield H.S.) compiled nine rebounds and nine assists to narrowly miss a double-double in her final collegiate game. Hayley Reneau (Washington, Ill./Washington H.S./Illinois Central) scored seven to increase her season total to 557, second-most in a season in school history.

Harfst finished 6-for-12 from the floor and 7-for-8 at the charity stripe. She collected six rebounds and had zero turnovers in 36 minutes. Kennedy Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield H.S.) poured in 11 points and Samantha Sarnes (Havana, Ill./Havana H.S.) netted eight off the bench.

The decision ended Eureka's season with an 18-8 overall record.