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Men's Basketball Unable to get Past No. 1 Stevens Point
By: Kevin Meinholz, Sports Information Director
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - While the UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team kept the game close against No. 1-ranked UW-Stevens Point, the Pointers were too much in the second half and the Blugolds fell 74-68 at Zorn Arena tonight.
The Blugolds fall to 10-6 overall and 3-5 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) while UW-Stevens Point improves to 16-1 on the season and 7-1 in conference play. The Pointers have now won nine straight on the season.
The teams played close in the first half with the lead changing six times while it was tied eight other times. Eau Claire led by four at one point in the first half while Stevens Point also led by four late in the first. The Blugolds hit 11 shots from the floor in the half and shot 44 percent while Stevens Point shot 41.4 percent with 12 baskets. The Pointers closed the first half on a 6-0 run.
Stevens Point carried the momentum from the first half and came out strong in the second half. The Pointers opened the half with a 5-0 run and were able to build an 11-point lead just over two minutes into the half. The Blugolds then used a 16-6 run to close the gap to one point but the Pointers held strong and started a 16-5 run of their own to gain back a double-digit lead. While the Blugolds did their best late in the half, they were unable to overcome the deficit.
The Blugolds outshot the Pointers 54.5 percent (30-for-55) to 51 percent (26-for-51) from the floor. The Pointers outscored the Blugolds at the charity stripe 17-4 but Eau Claire held the rebounding edge 27-25.
Geoff Probst (Sr.-Moose Lake, Minn.) led the Blugolds in scoring with 17 points while Amadou Fofana (Jr.-Appleton, Wis./West) recorded a team-high six rebounds. Nick Bartlett (So.-Arden Hills, Minn./Mounds View) came away with six assists and Josh Prince (So.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chi-Hi) had two steals.
For the Pointers, five players reached double-figures, led by Jared Jenkins, who scored 17 points. Scott Hoelzel pulled down eight rebounds to lead the game.
The Blugolds will be back in action this Saturday when they travel to UW-La Crosse. The game is part of a doubleheader with the women, who will tip off against the Eagles at 3 p.m. The men's game will follow.