This week's SLIAC Game of the Week pits two teams looking to position themselves for a men's basketball conference tournament appearance when Eureka College and Fontbonne University face each other on Saturday.
Eureka and Fontbonne currently sit in the middle of the SLIAC standings and with a win on Saturday the teams can start a push towards a SLIAC Men's Basketball Tournament appearance. Eureka starts the week with a 7-7 overall record and 5-3 mark in the SLIAC while Fontbonne is currently 4-11 overall and 3-5 in the SLIAC. Eureka and Fontbonne will tip on Saturday, January 24 at 3 p.m. in the Dunham Activity Student Center on the campus of Fontbonne University.
Eureka has won four straight games, the third longest active winning streak in the conference. The Red Devils have put together four straight conference wins to improve to 5-3 in conference play, tying them for fourth place in the standings. Eureka is averaging 69.0 points per game this season, sixth in the league, and allowing 72.3 points per game, fifth in the league.The Red Devils lead the SLIAC with 7.0 made three's per game as well as team three-point percentage with a 38 percent clip.
The Red Devils are led in scoring by senior forward Sam James. James is averaging 13.9 points per game this season while adding 5.2 rebounds per game. Seth Wickert is second on the team at 12.3 points per game and is the team's top perimeter defender, averaging 3.7 steals per game. Cody Behrens is a sharp shooter off the bench, knocking down 46.3 percent of his three-point shots. All-around player Greg Kent does a little of everything for Eureka; averaging 6.9 points, 6.1 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2.1 steals per game.
In their first meeting this season Eureka fell to Fontbonne back by the score of 76-68. Eureka was led by Sam James' 20 points with Seth Wickert added 15 points and Nick Finney chipping in 12 points off the bench.
Fontbonne will be looking to stop a four game skid that has seen them fall to 3-5 in conference play. The Griffins started the season with three wins in their first four conference games including a 76-68 road win over Eureka on December 5. The Griffins are averaging 66.5 points per game, eighth in the SLIAC, and allowing 75.5 points per game, also eighth in the league.
The Griffins are led by a pair of juniors in Jared Greenlee and Blake Welch. Greenlee, a forward, averages 12.0 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, both team highs, while shooting 54.8 percent from the field. Welch, a guard, is averaging 10.7 points per game and has a team high 26 three-pointers this season.
In this season's earlier match-up between the two schools Ben Kissing and Jared Greenlee led Fontbonne with 18 points and eight rebounds each while Richard Dorhauer added 13 points and four assists.
- Fontbonne and Eureka are tied in the all-time series with each team winning nine times.
- Fontbonne has won three consecutive meetings after winning earlier this season and sweeping last year's home-and-home series.
- Eureka's current four game winning streak is their longest since a six game winning streak in the 2012-13 season.
- Fontbonne defeated Eureka 76-68 earlier this season in Eureka, Ill with Fontbonne out shooting Eureka 51-36 percent in the game.
- Eureka features two the top playmakers in the league in Greg Kent and Seth Wickert. Kent leads the SLIAC in assists with 61 while Wickert is third with 54 assists.