Eureka was able to use a big third quarter to get away with a win against Pacific Friday.
The Wildcats (11-6) doubled up Pacific (13-4) in the penultimate period to come away with a 73-69 home win over the Indians. It was the first loss for Pacific in 2018, ending a six-game winning streak that dated back to the Rolla Holiday Tournament.
“We had really strong production from three players, but it didn’t feel like we had that focus we had when we were in Kansas and we have to get that back,” Head Coach John VanLeer said. “A lot of people wouldn’t have given us credit that we could come back there after we got down by about 10 in the fourth quarter, but I was happy with the effort, just not the result.”
Pacific led 13-9 after the first quarter and 31-24 at the half.
In the third period, Eureka doubled its own score to go ahead 48-43.
VanLeer said in watching the game tape that transition defense was where his team lapsed in that third quarter, allowing Eureka to get down the floor ahead for some quick baskets.
The Indians came back and outscored Eureka 26-25 in the final period, but the Wildcats were able to hold on to the lead.
“Cam(eron VanLeer) made a couple of threes and Matt Strong hit a couple of threes there in the fourth quarter and really gave us a chance there at the end, but we just didn’t finish the job,” Coach VanLeer said.
Cameron VanLeer was the leader of three players in double-digit scoring for the Indians. He posted 22 points to go with 19 from Trey Boyer and 16 from Matt Strong.
“We came out and we played real well,” Coach VanLeer said. “Trey Boyer had one of the better games he’s ever had for us, attacking the rim and getting a lot of guys involved.”
Tom Hennessy chipped in four points for Pacific. Joey Casey and Jordan Cowsert both contributed three points and Ryan Sauvage scored two.
VanLeer also pulled down a team high of eight rebounds.
Next were Cowsert and Hennessy with five rebounds apiece. Boyer pulled in four rebounds, Strong three and Casey two.
Boyer dished out five assists. VanLeer recored two assists while Cowsert and Mason Fleming each recorded one.
Sauvage and VanLeer posted one blocked shot each.
Boyer’s three steals led the team. Cowsert stole two and Strong one.
Eureka had four players get into double-digit points in the contest. Avery Taggert led the team with 16, followed by Zach Summers with 15, Jordan Billingsley with 13 and Antonio Sanders with 10.
Gunnar Herbert knocked through eight points for the Wildcats. Hassan Haskins scored five, Jhalon Asher-Sanders four and Cortez Smith two.
Pacific next hosts local rival Borgia Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.