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La Crosse Hands Men's Basketball Its First WIAC Loss
Posted: Saturday, December 8, 2007
LA CROSSE, Wis. - Though just down by five at halftime, the UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team was outscored 35-25 in the second half as UW-La Crosse won 64-49.
After winning the past five games, Eau Claire drops to 5-3 overall and 2-1 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC). The Eagles' marks are 5-2 and 1-1.
The largest lead of the first half was five points for La Crosse, which occurred multiple times. The first was at 16:44 after a 6-0 La Crosse run. After Geoff Probst (So.-Moose Lake, MN) hit consecutive jumpers, Eau Claire was down 11-10 at 14:17. Ryan Shea (Fr.-Duluth, MN/East) then sank one to put the Blugolds up. Tony Mane followed with an Eagle trey to put La Crosse back on top. Though a couple ties would still occur, Eau Claire would not hold the lead the rest of the game.
The Eau Claire offense went through a drought of more than four minutes during which the Eagles built a 21-16 lead at 10:18. The margin would stay between three and five points for the remainder of the half, with the Blugolds leaving the bench down 29-24.
Eau Claire actually outshot La Crosse in the half 48.0 percent-to-37.9 percent. The Eagles also put in 3-of-9 threes and 4-of-4 free throws. Eau Claire did not make any of either and did not even attempt a shot from the line.
For the first six minutes of the second half, the Blugolds stayed within striking distance. At 14:18, they were down 36-29. Then, at 14:06, the Eagles went on an 11-0 run that stretched to 8:07. Eau Claire then found itself down 18 points at 47-29. The outburst was part of an 18-5 hot streak that the Eagles started out on for the second half.
The lead would extend to 19 at 7:30 and Eau Claire would not get it under 12 for the rest of the game. The last 12-point margin occurred at 3:48after Zack Ryan (Sr.-Lake Elmo, MN/Tartan) completed a three-point play.
The team made 7-of-22 for 31.8 percent in the second half while La Crosse went 10-of-22 for 45.5 percent. The Eagles also hit 4-of-7 from behind the arc and 11-of-14 from the line.
Despite the final 64-49 score, the Blugolds kept it close in overall shooting percentage. La Crosse edged the visitors 41.2 percent-to-40.4 percent. The Blugolds were cold from long range, missing all 10 threes. They made 11-of-18 free throws. The Eagles sank 7-of-16 threes and 15-of-18 free throws. The Blugolds lost both the rebounding battle (33-to-30) and the turnover battle (18-to-10). La Crosse put up a lot more assists by a 16-to-3 margin.
Dan Beyer (Sr.-Waukesha/Catholic Memorial) scored 18 points to lead the team. Shea was next with 11. Probst's eight boards provided the most for Eau Claire.
Up next for the Blugolds is Finlandia University (MI). The away game will occur next Saturday at 1 p.m.Eau Claire-La Crosse Box Score