By Tommy McGowan, UWEC Sports Information
PLATTEVILLE, Wis. (blugolds.com)- The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's basketball team lost to No. 9 UW-Platteville Saturday afternoon, 60-53.
The Blugolds began the game on a 6-0 run, with the first basket coming from Spencer Page (So.-Rice Lake, WI). However, the rest of the first half was back-and-forth, with the lead changing hands multiple times. Cole Rabedeaux (Sr.-Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap) hit a free throw to make it 28-27 at halftime in favor of Platteville.
Eau Claire couldn't get their offense going to begin the second, which Platteville took advantage of. They built a 12-point lead by with ten minutes remaining, a lead the Blugolds were unable to recover from. They cut that lead to four with just over a minute remaining, thanks to a layup from Cam Kuepers (Jr.-Madison, WI/Lakeside Lutheran), but the Pioneers hit free throws to ice the game.
After weeks of hot shooting, the Blugold offense had an off day, shooting 39 percent from the field and 25 percent from three-point. They did have a strong defensive outing, forcing 14 Platteville turnovers.
Page would finish the day as the leading scorer for Eau Claire, with 18 points and two blocks. Rabedeaux with 15, and Carter Brooks (Jr.-Lakeville, MN/North) with 12 were the other leading scorers. Blake Wacholz (Sr.-Lakeville, MN/South) would force four steals as well.
The loss leaves Eau Claire at 10-4 overall and 1-2 in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play. They have an opportunity to get back on track back on their home court, as the Blugolds return to Zorn Arena Wednesday, January 15th to square off with UW-Oshkosh. The game will tip off at 7 PM. Follow the action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app from your mobile device.