Men's Basketball Drops Conference Opener to UW-La Crosse

Men's Basketball Drops Conference Opener to UW-La Crosse

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. ( – While the UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team hung with undefeated UW-La Crosse for a good portion of the game, the Blugolds couldn't keep the pace and fell to the Eagles 84-69 on Ken Anderson Court at Zorn Arena today.

Eau Claire was held scoreless over the first three and a half minutes and La Crosse built a 13-4 lead less than eight minutes into the contest.

But over the next four minutes, the Blugolds went on a 13-3 run to take their first lead of the night (17-16). From there, the Blugolds found their way to a seven point advantage (34-27) just 13 seconds into the second half.

La Crosse quickly changed the advantage, however, as the Eagles used a 9-0 run to take a two-point lead (36-34) a minute and a half into the second half.

The game remained close for the next 10 minutes and Eau Claire had a narrow lead of two points (58-56) with nine minutes remaining in regulation. La Crosse tied it up 40 seconds later, the sixth tie of the day, and over the final eight minutes the Eagles outscored the Blugolds 26-11 to capture the 84-69 win.

Lewis Mau (So.-Colfax, Wis.) led the Blugolds with 23 points, a career-high. His previous best was 21 points, achieved just three days ago against St. Scholastica (Minn.). He led the game with five assists and tied two other Blugolds, Nick Craggs (Sr.-Kimberly, Wis.) and Andy Kleist (Sr.-Eau Claire, Wis./North), with six rebounds to lead the team.

La Crosse led shooting from the field, going 27-for-54 (50 percent) to 25-for-58 (43.1 percent) for Eau Claire. The Blugolds outrebounded the Eagles 34-31 but turned the ball over 15 times to just nine for La Crosse.

Eau Claire is now 4-3 overall and 0-1 in the WIAC while La Crosse improves to 6-0 on the season and 1-0 in conference play.

The Blugolds will be on the road twice next week for two more conference games. They will be at UW-Platteville Wednesday for a game at 7 p.m. and will be at UW-Whitewater for a game at 3 p.m. Saturday.