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Men's Basketball Dominates Holiday Classic Championship
Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. - Facing Wartburg College (Iowa) in the championship game of the 40th annual Holiday Classic, the UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team had no problem handling the Knights, gliding to a 92-70 victory tonight at Zorn Arena.
With the win, the Blugolds are now 7-3 on the season, while Wartburg drops to 4-5 overall.
Eau Claire had a hot hand from the field, shooting 56.4 percent on the night, including 62.5 percent from beyond the arc and 86.2 percent from the charity stripe. The Blugolds out-rebounded the Knights 36 to 32, dished out 17 assists to Wartburg's three and scored 42 of of their 92 points in the paint.
The Blugolds started right where they left off from last night's victory, jumping out to 7-2 in the first three minutes of the contest. Eau Claire continued to pour in the points while clamping down on the defensive end in the first half. The Blugolds extended their lead to 32-6 midway through the first half on a Jacob Schlub (Jr.-Catawba, Wis./Phillips) jumper, and held the Knights to single-digits until the 8:12 mark. Eau Claire went into halftime with a comfortable 45-27 lead.
The second half provided the same scenario as the first, with the Blugolds maintaining their lead the entire half. A three pointer from Nick Bartlett (Fr.-Arden Hills, Minn./Mounds View) at the 11:40 mark gave Eau Claire a 71-42 lead, it's largest of the game. Wartburg was unable to break the 20 point barrier the remainder of the game, and the Blugolds cruised to the 22 point victory.
Tournament MVP Dan Beyer (Sr.-Waukesha, Wis./Catholic Memorial) led four Blugolds in double-digits with a game-high 18 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists. Geoff Probst (Jr.-Moose Lake, Minn.) recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Schlub and Josh Prince (Fr.-Cadott, Wis./Chippewa Falls) chipped in 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Blugold guard Colin Boone (Jr.-Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) was selected to the Holiday Classic All-Tournament team, and Sophomore Ryan Shea (Duluth, Minn./East) received the Fireman Award as the tournament's top non-starter.
Eau Claire will open up 2009 at home on Saturday with a game against St. Scholastica (Minn.). The Blugolds are a perfect 10-0 in the all-time series against the Saints. The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
- CL -