EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Despite a late second-half surge, the UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team couldn't get by 11th-ranked UW-Stevens Point, falling 54-50 on Ken Anderson Court in Zorn Arena today.
The Blugolds and Pointers played close in the opening half with the score changing hands 10 times while it was tied four other times. The Blugolds led by as many as five points while Stevens Point led by as much as three.
Eau Claire led as late as the 1:15 mark in the first half and trailed by just three points (24-21) at halftime.
The second half started out slow for the Blugolds as Stevens Point outscored Eau Claire 20-6 over almost the first nine minutes.
After the Pointers were up by 17 points (44-27), the Blugolds used a 13-0 run to cut the Pointer lead to just four. Jordan Petersen (Sr.-Strum, Wis./Eleva-Strum) and Stephen Hodgson Jr. (Fr.-Suamico, Wis./Bay Port) played key roles in that stretch, combining for 11 points.
But that was as close as the Blugolds would get as the teams played even the rest of the way.
Eau Claire held an advantage on the boards, 31-30 and outshot the Pointers 17-for-42 (40.5 percent) to 17-for-45 (37.8 percent). A key difference in tonight's game was points off turnovers. While the Blugolds committed just 12 turnovers, Stevens Point came away with 19 points. Eau Claire scored just six points off nine Pointer turnovers.
The Blugolds drop to 6-9 on the season and 0-6 in the WIAC while Stevens Point improves to 12-2 overall and 5-0 in conference play.
Wednesday, the Blugolds will be at UW-Oshkosh for a conference game beginning at 7 p.m.