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Blugold Men stun UW-La Crosse
Posted: Saturday, January 20, 2007
EAU CLAIRE - The UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team dealt UW-La Crosse its second consecutive setback with a convincing 65-47 decision at the W. L. Zorn Arena Saturday afternoon.
In reversing a 16-point loss to the Eagles earlier in the season, the Blugolds dominated the boards (47-29) and did not give La Crosse a lot of second chance opportunities. The Eagles struggled with their shooting in both halves, hitting 28 percent from field including 1 of 15 from three-point range for the game. La Crosse had scored just 20 points at the 13:11 mark of the second half.
After the Eagles conference player of the year candidate Joe Werner scored the first basket of the game, the Blugolds ripped off seven straight points and never relinquished the lead. An eight-point run midway through the first half helped open a 24-10 lead at the 3:40 mark. The difference was 11 points at the intermission (27-16).
In the second half, Warner again scored the first two points to cut the deficit to nine at 27-18 but that was as close as the Eagles could get in the final 20 minutes. The Blugolds maintained a 12 to 20 point advantage over the final 18:26 of the contest.
La Crosse, which was ranked No. 16 in the most recent D3hoops.com national poll and tied for second place in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference standings coming into the game, slipped to 6-3 in league play and to 11-6 overall.
Eau Claire won its second straight game and ended a three-game losing streak against the Eagles. The Blugolds upped their conference mark to 3-6 and their season record to 9-8.
The Blugold win was a total team effort with all nine players utilized by head coach Terry Gibbons getting into both the scoring and rebounding columns. Junior Dan Beyer (Waukesha/Catholic Memorial) scored 12 points and pulled 12 caroms. Senior Matt Riley (Cadott) matched him in points with 12 while junior Jared Bardon (DeForest) contributed 11 points. Junior Steve Hoelzel (Kaukauna) gave Beyer support on the boards with nine rebounds.
The aggressive Blugolds did not shoot free throws well (60.6 percent) but got to the charity stripe often enough (33 times) to outscore La Crosse 20-12 from there. The free throws made was the highest number this season by the Blugolds. Two La Crosse starters fouled out (Chris Fehrenbach and Werner) trying to contain the hustling Blugolds.
The Blugolds will attempt to reverse another early-season blasting when they host UW-Stout Wednesday in Zorn Arena. The Blue Devils beat the Blugolds, 65-42, in their first meeting on Nov. 29.
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