LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Eureka College junior guard Jordan Kindred (Chrisman, Ill./Chrisman H.S.) led all scorers with 23 points for his best offensive output in more than a year, but the Red Devils' second-half comeback wasn't enough in a 70-64 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference defeat at Spalding, Wednesday night at Derek Smith Gymnasium in Louisville, Ky.
The Red Devils (5-6, 2-1 SLIAC) held the advantage for a large portion of the first half, and a basket from junior forward Dustin Fritsch (Sterling, Ill./Sterling H.S./Sauk Valley) for an 8-4 advantage with 15:27 left proved to be the largest lead of the half for either squad. The Golden Eagles (4-8, 1-2 SLIAC) didn't regain the advantage until Thomas Blakemore hit a 3-pointer for a 27-26 lead with 1:53 left before intermission. Montray Robinson's bucket in the final seconds gave the hosts a 29-26 lead at halftime.
Eureka quickly regained the lead shortly after halftime when junior center Mark Lessen (Delavan, Ill./Delavan H.S.) scored inside for a 32-31 edge at the 17:58 mark. Spalding's Tyler St. Julian answered with a triple on the ensuing SU possession, and the Golden Eagles wouldn't trail again. The hosts' lead climbed as high as nine points on four different occasions before Lessen's layup capped a 7-2 EC run to bring the Red Devils within four, 65-61, in the final minute of the game. The Red Devils were unable to claw any closer, as Spalding made five of its final six free throws to close out the 70-64 win.
Kindred went 9-for-13 from the floor, adding three assists and three rebounds. Lessen finished the game with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Fritsch scored 11. Senior reserve guard Austin Nicholas (Brownsburg, Ind./Manitou Springs H.S./Lamar) knocked down all four of his shots, including a pair of 3-pointers, for a season-best 10 points.
Jametrius Brasher was huge for the Golden Eagles, scoring 16 points to go along with a game-high 15 boards. Blakemore scored 19 to lead the offensive effort for SU. The Golden Eagles collected 18 of their 49 rebounds at the offensive end and converted the opportunities into 25 second-chance points.
The Red Devils will shoot for their sixth straight win at the Reagan Center this Saturday in a 3 p.m. tip-off against defending league champion Westminster (6-6, 2-1 SLIAC).