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Men's Basketball Tops River Falls in Final Minutes
By: BJ Pickard, Sports Information Student
RIVER FALLS, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team took a lead with just over three minutes remaining after being down much of the game and defeated UW-River Falls 76-71 in tonight's conference matchup at the Karges Center in River Falls.
The Blugolds found themselves trailing most of the night, being down by as many as 13 points five minutes into the second half. But while the River Falls offense started out firing, turnovers proved to be the Achilles' heel for the Falcons. The Blugolds managed to nab 21 points off River Falls' 17 giveaways. Eau Claire turned the ball over just seven times, tying a season-low.
Eau Claire was also aided by depth, as the Blugold bench, led by Marcus Ruh (Fr.-Green Bay , Wis./Bay Port), outscored River Falls 26-10. Ruh totaled a team-high 20 points on the night, including four three-pointers, which tied a season-high for the team. Post players Amadou Fofana (Jr.-Appleton, Wis./West) and Geoff Probst (Sr.-Moose Lake, Minn.) added 19 and 14 points, respectively, and snagged four rebounds apiece.
The Blugolds shot 43.8 percent (28-for-64) to River Falls' 51.0 percent (25-for-49) from the floor and 29.2 percent (7-for-24) to the Falcons' 45.5 percent (5-for-11) from behind the arc. Eau Claire was 76.5 percent (13-for-17) from the free throw line in the game, but made all seven second half free throws.
River Falls just edged Eau Claire in rebounds, grabbing 32 to the Blugolds' 31, but Eau Claire took advantage of 13 offensive boards for 14 second chance points, where River Falls was only able to capitalize on seven offensive rebounds for five points.
With the win, the Blugolds improve to 13-7 overall and 5-6 in WIAC play. River Falls is now 8-13 overall and 2-10 in the WIAC.
The team returns home for a matchup with UW-Platteville at 5 p.m. Saturday, February 6 at Zorn Arena.