OSHKOSH, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team led for much of the first period, but was dominated in the second by the Milwaukee School of Engineering (Wis.), losing 61-48 on the first day of the UW-Oshkosh Classic.
During the first 20 minutes of play, the two teams switched the lead multiple times. A successful three pointer from Marcus Ruh (So.-Green Bay , Wis./Bay Port) followed by a layup by Nick Craggs (So.-Kimberly, Wis./Kimberly/UW-Whitewater) 13 minutes into the game gave the Blugolds a five-point lead, but the Raiders began to take control.
Milwaukee's lead was six points by the end of the half, and progressively inflated throughout the second until it was 20 with just 1:09 left in the game. Eau Claire's last minute efforts whittled its deficit down to 13 – Dustin Kalien (So.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chi-Hi) made up five points for the Blugolds – but time expired before a serious threat could be mounted.
Two big factors in the Eau Claire loss were fouls and turnovers. The Raiders racked up 17 points off the Blugolds' 14 turnovers. Milwaukee also nailed 18 points from 26 free throw opportunities. In comparison, Eau Claire had just seven free throw chances, and made three of them.
Ivan Franklin (Sr.-Stillwater, Minn./Stillwater/UM-Duluth) led the Blugolds in scoring, totaling 10 for the game. Ruh contributed another eight for the Blugold effort and also made four assists on the night. Craggs' nine rebounds was a team-high as well. Eau Claire also bested Milwaukee in shooting, making 37.7 percent of its shots (20 of 53) compared to the Raiders' 34.5 percent (19 of 55).
The Blugolds fall to an even 2-2 on the season. Milwaukee remains an undefeated 4-0.
At 3 p.m. tomorrow, the Blugolds will finish out the second day of the Oshkosh Classic with a game against Silver Lake College (Wis.).