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Men's Basketball Cruises Past Northwestern
Posted: Monday, December 29, 2008
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - The UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team moved into the championship game of the 40th Annual UW-Eau Claire Holiday Classic with a 78-52 victory over Northwestern College (Minn.) in the first round tonight at Zorn Arena.
The Blugolds (6-3) will now face Wartburg College (4-4) on Tuesday at 8 p.m. for the tournament title. In the third place contest at 6 p.m., Northwestern (6-4) will take on Jamestown College (7-6). Wartburg made it to the championship game with a 74-68 win over Jamestown.
From the beginning of the game tonight, the Blugolds had the upper hand and never trailed the entire way. Dan Beyer (Sr.-Waukesha, Wis./Catholic Memorial) scored first for Eau Claire and the Blugolds never looked back. After Eau Claire got up by 10 almost half way through the first, Northwestern used a 6-0 run to close to within four but the Blugolds would not allow the Eagles to get any closer and worked their lead back to 19 by the end of the first half.
Eau Claire once again got into a groove in the second half and continued to increase its lead. The Blugolds remained more than 20 points ahead of the Eagles after the 19 minute mark in the period, and achieved their largest lead of the game with just under four minutes to go at 32 points.
For the game the Blugolds went 56.7 percent from the floor while Northwestern shot 32.2 percent. The Blugolds were only able to hit half of their shots from the free throw line, going 7-for-14 and the Eagles were 14-for-23 (60.9 percent). Northwestern would not get any help from beyond the arc, missing all of its 11 attempts, as the Blugolds went 3-for-12. Both teams turned the ball over 12 times but Eau Claire scored 13 points off turnovers, while Northwestern recorded eight. In the paint, the Blugolds doubled the Eagles' scoring, with Eau Claire coming away with 54 to Northwestern's 26.
Beyer led the game with 15 points and six rebounds. He ended the first half with 15 points and five rebounds, playing only four minutes in the second half. Colin Boone (Jr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) was the only other Blugold to reach double-figures, coming away with 12 points. Jacob Schlub (Jr.-Catawba, Wis./Phillips) added nine points for Eau Claire, going 4-for-5 from the field. In all, 14 Blugolds scored points as everyone on the team saw playing time.
Stephen Hanson led Northwestern with 14 points, while he and Gabe Jefferson finished with a team-high five rebounds. Mike Schramm added 13 points, while Brain Lecheler scored eight and Ried Berens and John Duren each recorded six.
- KM -