EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - While the UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team was down by 14 points at one time against UW-Superior tonight, the Blugolds stormed back to force overtime and then went on to win 76-71 at Zorn Arena.
In the first half the Blugolds actually shot better from the field than the Yellowjackets but Superior drained five three-pointers as the Blugolds went 0-for-7. Superior also made three more free throws than Eau Claire and the Yellowjackets found themselves up by six at the half (36-30).
The second half again appeared to be going in favor of Superior, as the Yellowjackets built their six point halftime lead to 14 points less than seven minutes into the period.
But the Blugolds scored 11 points over the next two minutes and used a 19-7 run that lasted until there were just seven minutes left in the half to close to within two points.
From there the game remained close and the Blugolds got to within a point after a John Mielke (So.-Appleton, Wis./East) jumper with a minute and a half left. Tying the game up with 30 seconds left to go was James Pfitzinger (Jr.-West St. Paul, Minn./Academy Of Holy Angels/St. Norbert) as he hit his second free throw after a Superior foul. A steal by Nick Craggs (So.-Kimberly, Wis./Kimberly/UW-Whitewater)s with just seconds remaining helped push the game into overtime.
In the extra session, the Yellowjackets went 0-for-7 from the floor, scoring just two points from free throws. The Blugolds nailed two shots while scoring three points on free throws.
Mielke led the way for the Blugolds tonight, scoring a career-high 19 points. Ivan Franklin (Sr.-Stillwater, Minn./Stillwater/UM-Duluth) added 17 points while two others each scored 10. Marcus Ruh (So.-Green Bay , Wis./Bay Port) led the Blugolds in rebounding with nine boards.
The win improves Eau Claire's record to 8-6 overall and 3-3 in the conference. Superior falls to 10-5 and 2-4 in the WIAC. The overtime game was the Blugolds' first since February 17, 2010 when Eau Claire fell to Superior in Zorn Arena 89-79.
The Blugolds will be back at Zorn Arena again this Saturday for a game against UW-Whitewater. Tipoff is set for 3 p.m.