By Kyle Naber, UWEC Sports Information
WAVERLY, Iowa (Blugolds.com)- The No. 10 University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's basketball team dropped their first game of the season, following a 103-90 upset loss Sunday afternoon against Wartburg College.
Eau Claire came out of the gate with its usual firepower, hitting three's and putting the pressure on Wartburg. The Blugolds' hot start allowed them to take a nine points advantage into the half. For the half, Eau Claire shot 60 percent (18-30) from the field and 46 percent (6-13) from three. The Blugold defense held Wartburg to 38.5 percent from the field ( 10-26) but the Knights match the Blugolds from behind the arc (6-13) were able to convert 10 of 12 from the charity stripe (83.3 percent) George Diekelman (Jr. – Stevens Point, WI/SPASH) led the way for Eau Claire in the first half with a quick 12 points.
It was a different story in the second half as the Knights shot 73 percent from the field in the final half en route to great run and were able to walk away with a 103-90 victory.
The win marks the Knights second upset victory on the season after defeating UW-Oshkosh and continues their perfect record on their home floor.
Eau Claire, a usually strong rebounding team, was unable to dominate the boards getting out rebounded 28 to 27. Eau Claire also struggled to overcome their 14 team turnovers compared to just six from Wartburg. The Knights took advantage of the Blugold miscues, recording 25 points off turnovers.
The Knights big advantage came from their bench as they contributed 44 points. This also marks the first time this season that Eau Claire has allowed over 100 points.
Eau Claire was led by Diekelman who finished with 23 points and added four rebounds and three assists. Jack Martinek (Sr. – New Brighton, MN/Irondale) contributed another strong game, adding 18 points. Also scoring in double figures was Chris Duff (Jr. – Walker, MN) with 17 and Josh Weix (So. – Eau Claire, WI/North) with 11. Jared Schneidermann (Sr. – Brooklyn Park, MN/Concordia Academy) led the Blugolds on the glass, pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds.
The Blugolds will be off until December 28th, where both the men's and women's basketball teams will travel to Las Vegas for the D3hoops.com Las Vegas Classic. The men's next match up will be against Gustavus Adolphus (Minn.) with tip-off set for 8:00 p.m.
Follow all the action this season on Blugold Game Day.