For the first time in SLIAC history, Eureka College and Webster University will meet in the Men's Basketball Tournament Championship game. Eureka tackled Greenville 163-146 while Webster held off Blackburn 70-68. This marks the fourth time in program history that the Red Devils will be searching for the program's first SLIAC tournament title while Webster is looking for their first since 2014.
Eureka 163, Greenville 146 - BOX SCORE
Inside the Game
In a meeting between the top two scoring teams in the league, Eureka was able to finish with the higher point total putting up a season-high 163 points in their win over Greenville. Greenville, the #2 seed in the SLIAC Tournament, got off to their typical fast start; scoring the first seven points of the game and jumping out to a 9-1 lead. However the Red Devils, quickly answered back with eight straight points; tying the game after a pair of free-throws from Dakota Bennington. Eureka took their first lead of the game at the 8:39 mark on a layup by Bennington. Greenville maintained a five-point lead for the majority of the first-half but was never able to separate from Eureka. The Red Devils caught their breath and made a run with just five minutes left before the half with a 14-4 run to grab a 63-56 lead. Despite going down by 14 points with 14:12 left in the game the fast-paced Panthers were able to shoot their way back into the game; tying it up with 9:57 left. They took their first lead in over 16-minutes when Eric Williams buried a three to make the score 115-114. But the momentum quickly changed when Eureka stepped to the line for four straight free-throws after a Greenville technical foul. The free-throws continued for the Red Devils, scoring seven straight from the charity stripe. Greenville closed the score to 133-132 but Eureka struck back with a layup from Alex Wiegand and back-to-back triples by Koby White and Hank Thomas that put the game firmly in the Red Devils hands.
- Eureka advances to their first SLIAC Championship game since the 2013 tournament
- Eureka's Dakota Bennington finished with a game-high 37 points
- Hank Thomas added 32 points and 12 assists for the Red Devils
- Greenville was led by Eric Williams with 27 points and 12 rebounds
Webster 70, Blackburn 68 - BOX SCORE
Inside the Game
The league's top three-point shooting team, Blackburn, opened their semifinal game against top-seeded Webster with a three but that would only be one of three hit in the opening half as the host took a 38-29 lead into the break. Webster meanwhile shot 50-percent in the first half and led by 14 early into the second half. After trailing by double digits for the majority of the game the #3 seeded Beavers were able to work the Gorlok lead down to four points when Wyatt found a cutting Nigel Ferrell for a layup that made the score 63-59. Gorlok guard Josh Johnson stymied the Beaver run when he came down the court on the next possession and drilled a three-pointer to put Webster back up by seven. The Beavers were denied on their next trip by Gorlok forward Nigel Wilcox, who swatted away his 6th blocked shot of the game. The Beavers still had one more run in them as Tim Marston grabbed an offensive rebound to keep hopes alive. He then kicked the ball out to Karson Hayes who buried a three with 1:06 left to cut the score to 67-64. Webster held a 68-65 lead with 29-seconds left when Bryson Kirby drained a three from the side with 11-seconds on the clock. Webster had one last chance to send the home crowd away on a positive note and Gorlok guard Josh Johnson did just that, connecting on a jumper with just 1-second left to give Webster the 70-68 win.
- Webster is making their first trip to the SLIAC Championship game since the 2014 season
- The Gorloks Josh Johnson had a game-high 27 points, adding six assists
- Blackburn was led by Karson Hayes' 18 points