St. Louis, Mo. - It would be the second nail-biter between Fontbonne women's basketball and Eureka College in the same season. This time, the Griffins prevailed, upending Eureka's 10-game conference win streak. Fontbonne has won their last four games and are 12-10 overall and 8-5 in the SLIAC.
After trailing 15-9, Fontbonne closed out the first quarter by scoring six straight points to tie the game but the Griffins slacked in the second frame as Eureka netted 11 consecutive points to lead 26-15. Ultimately Fontbonne trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half as they found themselves down 34-26 at halftime.
The Griffins stormed out of the locker room on a 16-5 run to tie the game at 41 points apiece with 3:43 to go in the third quarter. The Griffins took a 43-42 lead when Sarah Schraut brought down the offensive rebound for the putback. Sophomore Kaitlynn Walker through a skip pass to senior Emmie Haring who drained a deep three-pointer to give Fontbonne a six-point lead at the end of the third quarter, their largest of the game.
The Griffins led 52-46 when Haring earned her fourth foul of the game with 8:04 left to play in the final frame and was sent to the bench. Eureka tied the game after six unanswered points two and a half minutes later when Haring re-entered the physical contest. Eureka missed two free throws in a row and after a Raven Venegas defensive rebound, Haring drained her final trey of the afternoon.
Eureka would tie the game three more times, the last (60-60) was a three-pointer by Kennedy Dura. Fontbonne went up by two but a Eureka missed jumper was brought down by Venegas. Schraut scored to give Fontbonne a four-point advantage. Dura once again split the game to two points with 30 seconds to go but a costly Red Devil turnover forced the visitors to foul. Venegas gave the Griffins a little light with a free throw but when Eureka missed the long ball with nine seconds left the game was over. Haring ended the game with two free throws.
Five Griffins scored in double figures as Venegas secured her second double-double of the season. Schraut shot six-of-nine in the field while Kaitlynn Walker brought down nine defensive rebounds.
Eureka averaged 8.1 three-pointers per game as the Griffins held them to seven on the day. Fontbonne netted five. The Griffins shooting accuracy and persistency eventually led to the win.
Paige Black: 10 points, 2-3 treys
Emmie Haring: 12 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, 3 steals
Sarah Schraut: 12 points
Raven Venegas: 10 points, 10 rebounds, 4 assists
Kaitlynn Walker: 11 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists
Today's win shakes up the SLIAC standings and puts the Griffins in a good spot with three games left in the regular season in their attempt to advance to the SLIAC Tournament.
Today's win is the largest for head coach Maureen Sias' number of wins in a season (12) and the largest number of wins for the Griffins since the 2012 season.
Fontbonne hasn't been to the postseason since 2012 and hasn't advanced to the SLIAC Championship game since 2010. The Griffins are the winningest program in SLIAC women's basketball history and hold the record for most conference titles (7).
Fontbonne has a week off until a very big game against Spalding University. The Griffins host Spalding in their final home game of the season on Saturday, February 11th at noon. Fontbonne seniors will be recognized at 11:30am with plenty of time to re-focus on the game.