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SLIAC Game of the Week: Eureka at Blackburn

SLIAC Game of the Week: Eureka at Blackburn

At a Glance
This week's SLIAC Game of the Week pits Eureka College and Blackburn College, two teams in the middle of the tightest race in SLIAC men's basketball history, against each other. Blackburn will host Eureka on Wednesday night in Carlinville, Ill. at 8 p.m. You can watch the SLIAC Game of the Week on video HERE

 

About Blackburn

Blackburn is one of the hottest teams in the league right now, having won four straight games and six of their last eight. They begin the week with a 10-13 overall record and a 9-7 mark in SLIAC play. The Beavers are one of four teams tied for third place in the SLIAC standings, with the top four advancing to the conference tournament. The Beavers are coming off a win over Iowa Wesleyan and will face Eureka and Spalding this week to close out the regular season in their chase for postseason play.

The Beavers are averaging 78.4 points per game on offense, fifth best in the SLIAC, while defensively they are allowing 81.2 points per game. The Beaver defense is adept at guarding the three pointer, holding opponents to a 31.9 percent mark this season; lowest in the SLIAC. Meanwhile the Blackburn offense is the deadliest at the three, hitting on a conference best 39.9 percent of their attempts.

Blackburn's offense is highlighted by junior guard Chris Davis. Davis leads the team at 16.4 points per game and ranks fifth in the league in three point percentage with a .461 mark. DeAndre Manuel is a tough inside player for the Beavers, averaging 12.0 points and 4.3 rebounds per game. Junior guard Jake Maestranzi rounds out the backcourt; averaging 10.0 points and 4.1 assists per game.

About Eureka
Eureka starts the week with a 10-13 overall record, winning two straight. The Red Devils are in a near must win situation with five teams ahead of them in the standings and another even at 8-8 in conference play. The Red Devils are coming off a win over Fontbonne and after facing Blackburn on Wednesday night will travel to Greenville in their regular season finale.

The Red Devils rank third in the SLIAC in scoring at 81.5 points per game, thanks in large part to their accuracy from the outside. The Red Devils knock down 8.4 three's per game; second most in the league. Defensively they are allowing 86.9 points per game.

The potent Red Devil attack is led by the Feehan brothers, Sam and Shea. Shea Feehan, a freshman guard, leads the team in scoring at 23.3 points per game. Since arriving at the start of the second semester Shea is shooting 55-percent from the field and three 30 point games. Sam, a senior guard, is averaging 21.5 points per game, knocking down 48.6 percent of his three-point attempts. An unsung player for the Red Devils is senior guard Greg Kent; averaging 8.2 points, 7.1 rebounds, 4.9 assists, and 2.6 steals per game.

Game Notes

  • Eureka leads the all-time series against Blackburn 16-3 including an 83-75 win earlier this season.
  • Blackburn is looking for their first SLIAC Tournament berth since 2006.
  • Eureka is searching for their fifth appearance in the SLIAC Tournament, first since 2013.
  • One area to watch in this game is the three-point ball. Blackburn holds their opponents to a league low 31.9 percent shooting from long range while Eureka attempts the second most three's per game.
  • Eurkea's Shea (23.3 ppg) and Sam Feehan (21.5 ppg) are looking to become the first teammates in the SLIAC to each average more than 20 points per game in a season since 2009, when Michael Zasada (21.4 ppg) and Kameron Bell (20.9 ppg) accomplished the feat for Eureka.
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