Monday, December 4, 2017

Eureka College Women's Basketball drops game to Illinois Wesleyan

Illinois Wesleyan's Raven Hughes attempts a free throw late in the game against Eureka College. PHOTO / ALEX STAAB

Eureka, IL - It was an in-state matchup between the Eureka Red Devils (3-4) (1-1) and the Illinois Wesleyan Titans (5-2) (1-0) at Christine Bonati Bollwinkle Arena in Eureka Monday night.

The game got off to a respectable start for both sides, as the two teams kept it close through the first 10 minutes. However, the shooting was not where it needed to be for either the Red Devils or the Titans, with the Titans going 8-19 from the field and the hosts going 6-14. Illinois Wesleyan would have a 19-16 advantage after one quarter.

The second quarter is where things started to go in the opposite direction for the host Red Devils. They were not making the shots they would've liked, and Illinois Wesleyan converting almost all of their points off turnovers contributed to a 44-25 Titans lead midway through the second quarter. Hayley Reneau (Sr. - Washington) was a bright spot for the hosts in this frame, scoring 10 of her game-high 23 points. It wouldn't get much better for Eureka in the last 3:30 of the quarter, as they would only score five points from the last stoppage of play, and went into the halftime locker room with a 23-point deficit. 53-30 was the Illinois Wesleyan lead. In that second quarter, Wesleyan outscored Eureka 34-14.

Eureka would do their best to get back into this one, but Wesleyan came out running in the third quarter, going on a 19-6 run to double up the hosts, 72-36, forcing a timeout called by the Red Devils Head Coach, Amos Arbogast. The rest of the third quarter didn't see all that much scoring, but Eureka did outscore Wesleyan out of the timeout through the end of the quarter, 9-5. With just 10 minutes until the end of this one, Illinois Wesleyan had a commanding 77-45 lead over the Red Devils.

Any team wants to finish strong in any game, regardless of importance, and Eureka did just that, but it was a case of too little, too late. The 32-point lead after three quarters that Wesleyan had seemed just too much for the Red Devils. However, a 11-point quarter from Ashley Harfst (So. - Pontiac) sparked the hosts in the final frame. Reneau also had another big quarter, scoring 7 more to bring her final total of 23 points. In the end, the Titans offense just overpowered Eureka, and the final buzzer went off, with Illinois Wesleyan coming away with a 27-point victory, 94-67.

Quotes | Eureka Red Devils Head Coach Amos Arbogast:
On what caused big Illinois Wesleyan run(s)
"They just pressured us, and we didn't handle the pressure very well to start. That just happens sometimes. They just rattled us a little bit. I think their physicality wore us down a little bit. The turnovers are what really hurt us. In the halftime stats, we were pretty even with them other than turnovers. That was something we knew coming in."
On preparing for Illinois Wesleyan
"We had a pretty good idea who they were. They were going to be physical. Rebounds were going to be important. We knew they would show some pressure."
On his first seven games as the program's head coach
"We haven't caught a break at the right time. The overall effort is good. I'm really happy with my team. As the conference season rolls around, we'll be in good shape."

Eureka College Scorers: 
Hayley Reneau (23), Ashley Harfst (13), Sabrina Clay (12), Samantha Sarnes (7), Kerrigan Dura (5), Lexi Dooley (4), Kennedy Dura (3)

Eureka College Statistical Leaders:
Made Field Goals | Hayley Reneau (10 for 24)
Made 3's | Hayley Reneau (3 for 11)
Made Free Throws | Ashley Harfst (10 for 12)
Rebounds | Sabrina Clay & Kerrigan Dura (6 each)
Assists | Kennedy Dura & Kerrigan Dura (7 each)
Blocks | Sabrina Clay / Kennedy Dura / Hayley Reneau (1 each)
Steals | Kennedy Dura Hayley Reneau (4 each)

Eureka College Team Statistics: 
Field Goals | 23 for 61 (37.7%)
3's | 7 for 23 (30.4%)
Free Throws | 14 for 17 (82.4%)
Rebounds | 39
Assists | 19
Turnovers | 29
Blocks | 3
Steals | 13

Next Eureka College Women's Basketball Game:
Saturday, December 9th
@ Blackburn Beavers (Carlinville, Illinois)
1:00 pm

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