MENOMONIE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Despite being down by as many as nine points in the second half against UW-Stout, the UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team got back into the game to push it into overtime, but ended up falling in the extra session 67-66 at Johnson Fieldhouse tonight.
While Stout held a lead the majority of the first 10 minutes of the game, the Blugolds got back into the game and led most of the final 10 minutes of the half, getting up by as many as five points.
But with Stout holding the Blugolds scoreless over the final two minutes of the first half, the teams were tied at 31 at halftime.
In the second half, the Blue Devils led almost the entire first 17 minutes, building their largest lead of the night (nine points) midway through the half.
After the game was tied at 55 with just over three minutes to play, the Blugolds got up by four points in about 30 seconds. But the Blugolds were held scoreless over the final two and a half minutes while Stout came back to tie the game at 59 and force overtime.
In overtime, the teams went back and forth and while the Blugolds led by as many as three points midway through the extra period, they didn't score over the final minute and a half. Stout hit a final free throw with 13 seconds to play and while the Blugolds had opportunities at the end, they couldn't get by the Blue Devils.
Dustin Kalien (Jr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chi-Hi) led the Blugolds with a career-high 23 points while Nick Bartlett (Jr.-Arden Hills, Minn./Mounds View) added 14. Rebounding, four Blugolds finished with four apiece.
The overtime game was the Blugolds' first since Jan. 12, 2011. The last time Eau Claire faced Stout in overtime was Dec. 16, 2003, a game the Blugolds won. Eau Claire is now 3-2 all-time against Stout in overtime.
The Blugolds drop to 14-9 on the season and 6-8 in the WIAC while Stout improves to 7-16 overall and 2-12 in conference play.
Wednesday, the Blugolds are on the road at UW-Platteville. Action is set to get underway at 7 p.m.