Blugolds fall to No. 20 Pioneers

Photos by Matt Schrupp, UWEC Photo
Photos by Matt Schrupp, UWEC Photo

By Kyle Naber, UWEC Sports Information

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com)- Chris Duff (Sr. – Walker, MN) scored 15 points, but it was not enough as the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's basketball team fell to No. 20 UW-Platteville 87-50, Saturday night at Zorn Arena.

Box Score

The Blugolds faced a tall task at home in the form of the Pioneers, who came into the day sitting atop of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) standings.

UW-Eau Claire opened the game with a jump shot made by Cole Rabedeaux (So. – Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap). George Diekelman (Sr. – Stevens Point, WI/SPASH) would get fouled and make 1-of-2 from the free throw line, giving the Blugolds an early 3-0 lead. The Pioneers would score a quick basket and get two free throws to make it a 4-3 lead. Duff would knock down a jumper to regain the lead for the Blugolds but UW-Platteville would respond with a jump shot from Matt Oestreich to give them a 6-5 lead.

That would be the third and final lead change of the game, as the Pioneers would use strong shooting to go on a 12-0 run. From that point, the lead continued to stay in favor of the Pioneers.

The Blugolds were no match for hot shooting Platteville, who hit 61.8 percent (34-55) of their shots, including 10-16 from beyond the 3-point line. The Pioneers were also strong on the defensive end, holding UW-Eau Claire to just 19-57 from the field (33.3 percent).

Duff used three 3-pointers on his way to a team-high 15 points. Following him was Dan Becken (Sr. – Lino Lakes, MN/Centennial) who added 11 points and two rebounds.

Eau Claire (11-12, 3-9 WIAC) has two more games left in the regular season to hold on to the sixth and final spot in the WIAC tournament. The Blugolds, despite the loss, remain tied with the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse following their loss on Saturday night to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 70-54.

Eau Claire will return to action on Valentines Day, Wednesday, Feb. 14, to take on the UW-River Falls on the road at 7:00 p.m. The Blugolds will look to avenge their 77-63 loss the last time out. Follow all the action on Blugold Game Day.

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