|Caty Eeten shot 65 percent
from the floor.
Eureka athletics photo
EUREKA, Ill. – Eureka sophomore guard Caty Eeten scored 49 points to break the single-game Eureka scoring record and lead the Red Devils to a 117-98 non-conference victory over Knox on Thursday night at the Reagan Center. The victory snapped a four-game losing streak in the all-time series against the Prairie Fire, while the 117 points scored were a single-game team record.
Eeten went 17-for-26 from the field and 15-for-20 from the free throw line. Her 49 points broke the previous record held for more than two decades by Sherry Bryan, who scored 40 points for the Red Devils at North Central (Ill.) on Nov. 26, 1985. Eeten added 12 rebounds and seven assists on Thursday for her third straight double-double dating to last season and fifth double-double of her career.
Facing Knox's brisk pace for the duration of the contest, Eureka (2-0) needed less than 10 minutes to overcome an early burst by the visitors and build a double-digit lead. A layup in transition by freshman guard Jenna Brooks gave the Red Devils a 16-14 advantage with 15:29 left in the opening half, and the Red Devils would never trail again. The lead ballooned to double-digits, 29-19, on a 3-point play by Eeten with 11:47 left in the first half. The Prairie Fire (0-2) stayed close and used a quick 5-0 run to get within five (43-38) with 5:21 left before halftime, but Eureka regained the momentum and took a 60-53 advantage into intermission.
A pair of free throws from Knox's Krystyna Williams on the first possession of the second half pulled Knox back within five, 60-55, but the Red Devils answered with a 7-0 burst capped by a basket from sophomore Kiley Bugaieski on a fast break. The bucket gave Eureka double-digit lead for the remainder of the night. The advantage swelled to as many as 23 points, 117-94, on a transition bucket from Eeten in the final minute of the game.
Knox used full-court pressure, quick offensive sets and regularly substituted five players at a time for the full 40 minutes. No Knox player played more than 17 minutes and 13 different players played at least 10 minutes. The frantic tempo allowed the Red Devils to score 42 points on the fast break and force 23 Knox turnovers. The Prairie Fire also went cold from 3-point range in the second half, connecting on only two of 23 attempts.
In addition to Eeten's record-breaking night, senior forward Khassandrae Brown matched a career-high with 22 points and added 14 rebounds, while senior guard Sara Hamilton chipped in with 10 points and a career-high 12 boards. The effort gave the Red Devils three players with a double-double in the same game for the second consecutive game and just the third time on record in program history. Brooks was the fourth Eureka starter to finish in double-figures with a career-best 21 points in just her second collegiate game. Eureka shot 51 percent (40-for-78) from the field for the game, its best effort since shooting 54 percent (36-for-67) against Lincoln Christian on Feb. 17, 2010.
Eureka's 117 points broke the single-game team record of 114 set last season in a 114-29 victory over Lincoln Christian at the Reagan Center on Jan. 20, 2011. Eureka went 36-for-46 from the free throw line on Thursday, narrowly missing the single-game program record of 37 free throws made set against Asbury (Ky.) on Dec. 1, 2001 in a tournament hosted by Greenville.
The Red Devils, off to their first 2-0 start since the 1998-99 season, will return to action next Tuesday at Northern Athletics Conference member Concordia (Ill.) at 7 p.m. in River Forest, Ill.