By Kyle Naber, UWEC Sports Information
NORTHFIELD, Minn. (Blugolds.com)- The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's basketball team earned their sixth win of season following a 63-56 victory over Carleton College Friday night at West Gym.
For the second straight game, the Blugolds opened on a 9-2 run. The Knights would respond quickly with a 10-0 run to take the lead. Carleton was able to hold of the Blugolds for much of the first half, but at 3:37 left in the first half, Cole Rabedeaux's (So. – Poulsbo, WA/ North Kitsap) layup tied the game at 21.
The basket would start a 15-0 run that continued through the second half. But Carleton was able to bring it back to a one-possession game following a 3-pointer from Matthew Stritzel.
George Diekelman (Sr. – Stevens Point, WI/SPASH) connected on a jumper on the ensuing possession to push the lead back to 59-54 with just under three minutes left to play. Chris Duff (Sr. – Walker, MN) would answer after a basket from the Knights to maintain the five-point advantage.
Rabedeaux would go to the line twice down the stretch and despite missing two free throws, he would do enough to hold the lead. Carleton certainly had opportunities down the stretch, but went cold shooting 0-4 from the field with every shot being a 3-point attempt.
"To be able to go on the road and get off to a hot start is something that we had talked about and doing that really set the tone for the rest of the game," said Head coach Matt Siverling.
Diekelman led the way for the Blugolds with 17 points and five rebounds. Duff added 13 points and Dan Becken (Sr. – Lino Lakes, MN/Centennial) scored eight points.
Eau Claire was able to limit the turnovers to just six in the win, marking the sixth time this season that the Blugolds have had fewer than 10 turnovers.
Siverling was pleased with his team's ability to control this game.
"We controlled the pace and used a lot of clock to grind out a big win before break," Siverling said.
Following the win, Eau Claire (6-3) will enjoy a break until after Christmas. The Blugolds will be back in action on December 29 and December 30, where they will look to continue their undefeated mark at home. Eau Claire will play host to the Holiday Classic tournament.
Up first in the Holiday Classic will be the University of Northwestern-St. Paul. Tip off is set for Friday, December 29 at 7 p.m. Follow the action on Blugold Game Day.