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Men's Basketball Drops A Close One At Home To Superior
Posted: Wednesday, February 14, 2007
EAU CLAIRE - For the second time in three years, UW-Superior came in to Zorn Arena and came out with a victory, defeating the UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team tonight by a final score of 58-56.
The loss tonight drops the Blugolds overall record to 10-14 and WIAC record to 3-12. With the loss, the Blugolds are still not guaranteed a spot in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Tournament. The Blugolds currently hold the eighth spot just a game ahead of Superior in the ninth spot. Only the top eight teams advance to the conference tournament. The last time the Blugolds did not make the post-season tournament was back in 2002.
The Yellowjackets improve to 7-17 overall and 2-13 in the conference. The Yellowjackets defeated Eau Claire 89-85 in a triple overtime thriller at Zorn Arena on January 26, 2005. The 2004-05 season was also the last time the Yellowjackets won multiple conference road games in the same season. Superior hosts No.1-ranked UW-Stevens Point in the season finale on Saturday.
Superior played in a 2-3 zone all night, which led to a lot of three-point attempts by the Blugolds. Dan Beyer (Jr.-Waukesha, WI/Catholic Memorial) scored the opening points of the game to the give the Blugolds an early lead. With the score tied, the Yellowjackets went on a 7-0 run to take a 12-5 lead. Eau Claire answered that with a 7-0 run of its own to regain the lead 14-12. Steve Hoelzel (Jr.-Kaukauna, WI/UW-Milwaukee) had four of the seven points.
However, the Yellowjackets regained the lead with a six-point spurt and would not trail again in the contest. Superior had its biggest lead of the half of eight with over two minutes to play. A three-pointer by Luke Meier (Jr.-Cross Plains, WI/Middleton) with 13 seconds left made the halftime score 29-24.
Superior shot 50% in the first half, while the Blugolds shot 37%. The Blugolds shot 17 three-pointers in the half and made four of them. The Yellowjackets scored 12 points off of seven Eau Claire turnovers.
Superior extended its lead to nine points a minute into the second half. The Blugolds then went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to two points after a Jared Bardon (Jr.-DeForest, WI) three-pointer. With 14:25 remaining Steve Hoelzel was fouled and made the basket to cut the lead to 41-40. He would miss the tying free throw.
The Yellowjackets kept their lead and lengthened it back to six points with 8:39 left to play. The Blugolds stayed close and another Jared Bardon three-pointer cut the lead to 56-54 with 50 seconds left. The Blugolds had a chance to tie after a missed shot by Superior, but turned the ball over in the backcourt that led to a Leonard Cobb layup to extend the lead back to 58-54 with 11 seconds left. Eau Claire made a basket with two seconds left then fouled with 0.6 seconds remaining. Superior missed the free throw and the Blugolds full court desperation heave was off the mark as the Yellowjackets went on to win 58-56.
The Yellowjackets had identical shot totals in the first and second half to finish 50% for the game. The Blugolds shot 50% in the second half and finished at43% for the game. Eau Claire was 9-for-31 on three-point attempts. Superior out-scored Eau Claire 32-18 in the paint.
Jared Bardon and Dan Beyer each had 13 points to lead the Blugolds. Beyer also had eight rebounds to lead the team. Steve Hoelzel had a team-high six assists for Eau Claire. Leonard Cobb had a game-high 27 points to lead the Yellowjackets. It was his second-highest point total of the season.
The Blugolds will conclude their regular season on Saturday when they travel to face UW-Whitewater in the first game of a men and women's doubleheader. The tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.
- JR -