The Eureka College women's basketball team saw one of its best seasons in program history come to an end Friday night in the opening round of its first NCAA Tournament, a 97-58 defeat to #2/4 and defending national champion Thomas More at Connor Convocation Center in Crestview Hills, Ky. The decision ended Eureka's season with a 20-8 record.
Freshman guard Ashley Harfst (Saunemin, Ill./Pontiac H.S.) led EC with 13 points off the bench. Junior guard Kerrigan Dura (Edwards, Ill./Brimfield H.S.) fell just shy of a double-double with 11 points, nine rebounds and a game-high five assists.
Seniors Michaela Balducci (Eureka, Ill./Eureka H.S.) and Luci Weis (Bloomington, Ill./Normal Community H.S.) played their final games for the Red Devils. The duo combined to score 1,729 career points. Weis ended her career as one of only four players in program history to appear in 106 games and Balducci finished ninth on Eureka's all-time steals list with 158.
EC scored the first points of the game 71 seconds into the contest, but the Saints answered with nine in a row and led the rest of the way.
Thomas More will advance to a second-round matchup with Hope (Mich.) on Saturday in Crestview Hills. The Saints have won 61 consecutive games.
Eureka ended its season with a 20-8 overall record. The Red Devils swept the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season and tournament titles, the first two for EC in any sport in 11 seasons as a member of the league. EC set single-season team records with 2,072 points, 234 3-pointers, 498 assists and 103 blocked shots.
STORY COURTESY OF EUREKA COLLEGE SPORTS INFORMATION