EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team opened the 2010-11 season with a 77-64 victory over the College of St. Scholastica (Minn.) at Zorn Arena tonight.
While the game started off slow for Eau Claire as the Saints built a five point lead just over five minutes into the game, the Blugolds were sparked by a James Pfitzinger (Jr.-West St. Paul, Minn./Academy Of Holy Angels/St. Norbert) dunk at 12 minutes to tie the game up at 11-11. The game was tied once more two minutes later but the Blugolds took a lead they would never give up at 9:40 in the first.
Eau Claire built a 12-point lead with a Marcus Ruh (So.-Green Bay , Wis./Bay Port) layup at 17:20 in the second half but the Saints then closed the gap to just three points after going on a 9-0 run.
The Blugolds then went on a 6-0 run, started by another Pfitzinger dunk. While St. Scholastica got back to within five with less than 10 minutes remaining, the Blugolds built their lead back to 13 points at 8:29 and held a double-digit lead almost the rest of the way.
Ruh led the Blugolds with a career-high 22 points. Ivan Franklin (Sr.-Stillwater, Minn./Stillwater/UM-Duluth) finished with 14 points while John Mielke (So.-Appleton, Wis./East) added 10.
Amadou Fofana (Sr.-Appleton, Wis./West) had 12 points, going 8-for-8 from the free throw line. He also had a game-high seven rebounds as the Blugolds outrebounded the Saints 23-20. Fofana's perfect mark at the free throw line ties for seventh best in school archives.
St. Scholastica outshot the Blugolds 59 percent (23-for-39) to 54.2 percent (26-for-48).
Eau Claire has never lost to St. Scholastica, holding a 13-0 all-time record against the Saints.
The Blugolds will be on the road this weekend for two games at the UW-Platteville Classic. Friday they will face Washington University (Mo.) and will then take on Clarke College (Iowa) Saturday. Both games will get underway at 5 p.m.