EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – Despite leading at the end of the first half, the UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team was unable to get past defending national champion and 13th-ranked UW-Whitewater as the Blugolds fell 72-63 on Ken Anderson Court in Zorn Arena today.
The Blugolds and Warhawks played close in the opening half, as the lead changed hands eight times while it was tied at two other points.
Eau Claire held the Warhawks scoreless for more than the first three minutes, and during the first nine minutes, Jordan Petersen (Sr.-Strum, Wis./Eleva-Strum) was the only Blugold to score as he compiled six points. During the first 12 minutes, Petersen scored 15 of Eau Claire's 17 points.
Over the final seven minutes of the half, the Blugolds outscored the Warhawks 10-6 to take a 26-25 lead into halftime.
In the second half, the teams played close for the first seven minutes and Eau Claire led by three (38-35) at the 13-minute mark. But from there, the Warhawks used a 22-4 run over the next eight minutes to build a 15-point lead (57-42), their largest of the game. The closest Eau Claire got the rest of the way was seven points.
Whitewater led the game shooting 54.8 percent from the field (23-for-42) while the Blugolds went 24-for-46 (52.2 percent). Eau Claire held a rebounding advantage, 27-23, including 10-7 on the offensive end. The Warhawks capitalized off Blugold turnovers, scoring 26 points off 19 turnovers while the Blugolds didn't score any off 13 Whitewater turnovers.
Eau Claire drops to 9-11 on the season and 3-8 in the WIAC while Whitewater improves to 15-4 overall and 8-3 in the conference.
The Blugolds will be home again Wednesday when they host UW-Oshkosh for another conference game. Action will get underway at 7 p.m.