This week's SLIAC Game of the Week is a possible SLIAC Women's Basketball Tournament preview as Westminster College will visit Eureka College on Saturday. Westminster has already clinched a spot in the 2015 tournament while Eureka needs one more win to secure a spot.
Saturday's game between Westminster and Eureka puts two teams that have a chance at meeting in the first round of the 2015 SLIAC Women's Basketball Tournament. Westminster is currently in second place in the standings with an 11-2 record while Eureka would earn the third seed based on their current 9-5 conference mark. Saturday's game is set for a 1 p.m. tip in Eureka, Illinois.
Westminster has won six straight games and are 13-5 overall this season. Since the start of the new year the Blue Jays have won 10 of 11 games as they have climbed into second place in the standings. The Blue Jays will put their winning streak on the line with mid-week games against MacMurray and Central Christian Bible before facing Eureka on Saturday.
Westminster is the top scoring team in the SLIAC, averaging 68.5 points per game; while they are allowing 61.2 points per game. The Blue Jays offense is highlighted by their shooting efficiency, shooting 41.7 percent from the field as a team and knocking down 36.8 percent of their three point shots. It has been a team effort for the Blue Jays this season with three players averaging double figures in scoring. Leading the way is sophomore forward Andrea Zalis at 14.5 points per game while junior guard Kasey Gatson is averaging 13.7 points per game and junior guard Mackenzie Haddox is averaging 10.8 points per game. Both Gatson and Zalis are dangerous from the outside with both players knocking down at least 29 three's this season. Haddox meanwhile has been effective running the offense with 74 assists this season and ranking third in the league in assist to turnover ratio.
Eureka is 12-9 overall this season and have won two straight games; topping MacMurray 80-50 last Wednesday and Greenville 72-66 on Saturday. The Red Devils are 8-3 since the turn of the calendar year. This marks the fourth time this season the Red Devils will have had a week or more off between games, they are 1-2 in their previous three games returning to action.
Eureka ranks third in the league in scoring at 67.5 points per game and allows 69.1 points per game. They Red Devils are shooting just 36.8 percent from the field as a team but make up for their misses with their rebounding; averaging 44.1 rebounds per game, second most in the SLIAC. The Red Devils have been led by the inside-outside duo of Kelsey Shoemake and Emily Camden. Shoemake, a senior forward, is one of the league's premier post players averaging 17.9 points and 13.4 rebounds per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field. Camden, a junior guard, is the Red Devils long range threat with a conference high 63 three pointers while averaging 16.3 points per game this season.
- Westminster leads the all-time series against Eureka 15-3 including a 75-41 win earlier this season.
- Eureka is 8-2 at home this season, the best home record in the conference this season.
- Westminster's Kasey Gatson ranks second in the SLIAC in three point shooting percentage with a 48-percent mark.
- Eureka's Kesley Shoemake has recorded 15 double-doubles this season including two games with 20 points and 20 rebounds.
- Gatson is also the only player in the league to rank in the top five in both field goal percentage, 4th, and three point percentage, 2nd.
- Eureka's Emily Camden is coming off a 31 point game in which she tied the program mark with eight three pointers in a game.