Eureka College women's basketball beats Concordia

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

Behind a balanced effort from senior forward Jaylynn Stewart (Taylorville/Taylorville H.S./Illinois State), a game-high 18 points from sophomore forward Kelsey Shoemake (East Peoria/East Peoria H.S.) and solid free throw shooting, the Eureka College women's basketball team romped to a 71-50 home-opening victory over Concordia Saturday afternoon at the Reagan Center.

Concordia put the Red Devils on their heels early, scoring the first six points of the game and keeping the Red Devils off the scoreboard for more than four minutes. Eureka eventually recovered, claiming its first lead of the afternoon, 14-13, on a 3-pointer from freshman guard Emily Camden (Green Valley/Midwest Central H.S.) with 10:58 left in the first half.

The two teams traded the lead five more times over the next 3:02 before Eureka junior guard Caty Eeten (Eureka/Eureka H.S.) gave the hosts the lead for good, 22-21, with her basket with 7:35 remaining before halftime. Eureka ultimately closed the half on an 18-4 run behind seven points from Eeten to take a 38-25 cushion into intermission.

Eureka's lead never dipped below double-digits in the second half. Camden's layup with 2:21 remaining gave the Red Devils their largest advantage of the afternoon, 69-47.

Stewart fell one assist short of Eureka's first-ever triple-double, compiling 13 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists. Shoemake added 18 points and 14 boards for her second consecutive double-double, while Camden (16) and Eeten (14) also reached double-figures in scoring. Eeten's 14 points improved her career total to 937 to pass Sherry Bryan (1984-84) for 15th place on Eureka's all-time scoring list. Eeten also went 4-for-4 from the free throw line Saturday, passing Tina Sharp (1992-96) for fourth place on the program's all-time free throw list with 299 career foul shots.

The Red Devils went 14-for-17 as a team from the free throw line Saturday and didn't miss an attempt until the 4:07 mark of the second half. Eureka also held a 51-40 rebounding advantage.

Eureka sophomore Taylor Muehlich (Tremont/Tremont H.S.) and freshman Kayla Bryant (Eureka/Eureka H.S.) each made their collegiate debuts Saturday. Muehlich knocked down her first career basket, while Bryant collected two rebounds and a blocked shot.

Jessica Genke led the visitors with 12 points and 10 rebounds. April Broska tacked on 11 points. The Cougars shot just 31 percent (21-for-67) from the field for the game and went 5-for-14 from the free throw line.

The Red Devils will open St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play on Wednesday at 6 p.m. versus MacMurray at the Reagan Center.

NOTES: Saturday's win improved the Red Devils to 27-4 versus Concordia since 1990 ... Eureka is 2-0 for the second consecutive season and just the third time since the 1998-99 season ... Eureka has won consecutive home openers for the first time since November 2004 ... The Red Devils are now 28-3 when outrebounding the opposition and 26-1 when leading at halftime under third-year head coach Taren Martin.