EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - Despite keeping the game close in the opening half, the UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team had a tough time in the second half and fell 64-45 to UW-Platteville at Zorn Arena today.
While the Pioneers opened the game with a 9-2 run to get up by seven points less than three minutes into the contest, the Blugolds came on strong over the next 11 minutes. In that span, the Blugolds used a 22-8 run to build a seven point lead of their own.
To close the half, the teams went back and forth and found themselves tied at 28 apiece at halftime.
Jordan Petersen (So.-Strum, Wis./Eleva-Strum) opened the second half with a free throw to give the Blugolds a lead but the Pioneers outscored the Blugolds by 20 points the rest of the half (36-16). With just over nine minutes to play, Platteville had built a 10-point advantage and while Eau Claire got within six points three minutes later, the Pioneers ended the game on a 14-1 run for the 19-point win.
Marcus Ruh (So.-Green Bay, Wis./Bay Port) had 15 points to lead Eau Claire. He scored 13 points in the first half alone but cooled off in the second half. James Pfitzinger (Jr.-West St. Paul, Minn./Academy Of Holy Angels/St. Norbert) led the Blugolds with five rebounds while adding nine points.
The Blugolds were outrebounded 37-25, including 10-4 on the offensive glass, and committed 17 turnovers to Platteville's 13. Off the turnovers, Platteville outscored the Blugolds 19-12 and had 10 second-chance points while Eau Claire had none.
Eau Claire falls to 9-12 overall and 3-9 in the WIAC. Platteville improves to 13-8 on the season and 6-6 in the conference.
The Blugolds will play their final home game of the regular season Wednesday when UW-Stevens Point comes to town. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.