Men's Basketball Plays Ranked Pointers Tough but Falls in End

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team battled UW-Stevens Point most of the night but the 13th-ranked Pointers were too much in the end as they beat the Blugolds 85-74 today.

While Stevens Point opened the game with a 9-3 advantage over the first five minutes, the Blugolds quickly showed they would be competitive.

Immediately following Stevens Point's six-point lead, Eau Claire used a 7-0 run with four points coming from Alex Anderson (Fr.-Oshkosh, Wis./North) to give the Blugolds their first lead of the night at 10-9.

The teams played back and forth most of the of the opening half after the Blugolds' first lead and they both had 21 points over the next 11 minutes as the Blugolds led 31-30.

But in the final minute, the Pointers scored seven unanswered to take a 37-31 lead into halftime and then opened the second half with a 5-0 run to build an 11-point advantage.

While Stevens Point increased its lead to 15 points just over three minutes into the second half, the Blugolds got back into the game. Using a 10-run, the Blugolds chopped the Pointers' lead to just five and then got to within two after outscoring the Pointers 9-6 midway through the half.

Though the Blugolds were down by single digits with less than two minutes to play, an 8-4 Pointer run at the end of the game lifted them past the Blugolds 85-74.

Dustin Kalien (Jr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chi-Hi) led three Blugolds in double-figures with 16 points and also tied for a game high with seven rebounds.

Down low, the Blugolds never got into a rhythm as the Pointers outscored them 44-18 in the paint. Beyond the arc, the Blugolds drained nine shots while Stevens Point had seven. Eau Claire also outrebounded the pointers 33-31, including a 13-2 advantage on the offensive boards.

Eau Claire is now 9-5 overall and 2-4 in the WIAC. Stevens Point improves to 11-3 on the season and 4-1 in conference play.

Wednesday, the Blugolds will host UW-Oshkosh. Tip-off at Zorn Arena is set for 7 p.m.

-KM-