EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Despite holding an 11-point lead in the first half, the UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team came up short to No. 19 UW-Whitewater 68-59 at Zorn Arena tonight.
The Blugolds opened the game outscoring the Warhawks 22-11 over the first 11 minutes to build an 11-point lead. But a 14-3 Warhawk run over the next four minutes tied the game at 25 and from there the teams battled back and forth the rest of the first half.
The final four minutes of the half were closely contested and the score was even at 33 by halftime.
The Warhawks turned up the pressure in second half and came out with a 17-7 run to get to a 10-point lead midway through the second half.
But the Blugolds came back strong and cut Whitewater's lead to just one (56-55) with less than five minutes remaining. Jordan Petersen (Jr.-Strum, Wis./Eleva-Strum) came up big for the Blugolds in that stretch, scoring eight of the Blugolds' 15 points as they outscored the Warhawks 15-6.
In the final four minutes, however, the Blugolds ran out of steam and scored just four more points the rest of the night. Whitewater finished with 12 in the final four minutes to win its eighth game in a row.
Petersen led the Blugolds with 20 points while Nick Bartlett (Jr.-Arden Hills, Minn./Mounds View) added 12. Nick Craggs (Jr.-Kimberly, Wis.) finished with a team-high seven rebounds while five others had four or more each.
The Blugolds are now 6-3 on the season and 1-2 in conference play. Whitewater improves to 8-0 overall and 3-0 in the conference.
Wednesday the Blugolds will be on the road at UW-Superior. Action will get started at 7 p.m.