Webster Snaps Eureka's Home Win Streak, 99-83
EUREKA, Ill. – Webster sophomore Stefan Whittingham led all scorers with 27 points and made four of the Gorloks' 12 3-point baskets, sending the visiting Gorloks to a 99-83 St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference triumph over the Eureka College men's basketball team, Tuesday night at the Reagan Center. The Red Devils' defeat snapped a six-game home winning streak dating back to February 2011.
Webster (4-8, 4-0 SLIAC) scored the first six points of the game and led by as many as seven points (12-5) before Eureka (6-7, 3-2 SLIAC) roared back with a 17-6 run behind six points apiece from senior Austin Nicholas (Brownsburg, Ind./Manitou Springs H.S./Lamar) and junior Jordan Kindred (Chrisman, Ill./Chrisman H.S.) for a 22-18 lead with 9:50 to play in the first half. Eureka's lead would be short-lived, as Webster responded by hitting six 3-pointers in the final 8-minutes, 21-seconds of the half to carry a 52-39 lead into halftime. Webster's Dietrick Sooter led all scorers with 12 points in the first 20 minutes.
After the Gorloks connected on 3-pointers on their first two possessions of the second half, Eureka promptly cut its deficit to single-digits when junior center Mark Lessen (Delavan, Ill./Delavan H.S) capped a quick 7-0 EC burst to trail 58-50. The Red Devils ultimately got within five points, 65-60, after a transition layup by junior forward Dustin Fritsch (Sterling, Ill./Sterling H.S./Sauk Valley) with 12:37 left.
Eureka's charge ultimately came up short, as Webster continued its solid outside shooting in the second half to run its season-opening SLIAC win streak to four games. Sooter's 3-pointer, one of six triples for the Gorloks in the second half, gave Webster an 84-73 lead with 3:52 to go, and Webster would lead by double-digits for the remainder of the contest.
Lessen finished the game with 21 points to lead the Red Devils. Fritsch scored 19 points and pulled down seven boards, while junior point guard Rian Nailor (Rock Falls, Ill./Rock Falls H.S./Sauk Valley) handed out a career-high nine assists to go along with 15 points in a game-high 34 minutes. Kindred added seven assists for the hosts and now needs just three assists to match Chris Peterson (1990-94) for ninth-place on the all-time Eureka list.
Whittinham and Sooter combined to score 52 of Webster's 99 points, while Cody Bradfisch added 19 points. Webster shot 54 percent (37-for-69) from the field for the game and 52 percent (12-for-23) from 3-point range. The Gorloks outrebounded Eureka, 37-27, and scored 25 second-chance points.
Eureka will look to get back to .500 this Saturday at 3 p.m. against SLIAC rival Fontbonne in St. Louis, Mo.