Men's Basketball Falls to UW-La Crosse in Conference Opener

LA CROSSE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team kept the game close in the first half but UW-La Crosse outscored the Blugolds 38-27 in the second half and went on to win 68-57 at Mitchell Hall today.

In the first half, while La Crosse built a nine-point lead over the first eight minutes, the Blugolds chipped away at the lead and tied the game at 6:06 with a three-pointer by Dustin Kalien (Jr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chi-Hi). The Eagles never led after that in the first half and the score was tied at 30 by halftime.

La Crosse came out in the second half and Luke Tweed hit a three-pointer one minute in. The Eagles never looked back after that. They used a 23-7 run over the first nine minutes of the half to build a 16-point lead, their largest of the game. The closest Eau Claire got the rest of the way was 10 points.

Kalien finished the game leading the Blugolds with 13 points while Nick Bartlett (Jr.-Arden Hills, Minn./Mounds View) added 10. Jordan Petersen (Jr.-Strum, Wis./Eleva-Strum) finished with a game-high eight rebounds.

As a team, the Eagles led both in shooting and rebounding. They were 44.7 percent from the field (21-for-47) with 12 baskets coming from beyond the arc while pulling down 39 rebounds. The Blugolds were 18-for-50 (36 percent) with 30 rebounds.

Eau Claire drops to 5-2 overall and 0-1 in the conference while the Eagles improve to 5-1 on the season and 1-0 in conference play.

The Blugolds will be home Wednesday, hosting UW-Platteville. Action is set to start at 7 p.m.

-KM-