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Blugolds Win Sixth Straight Holiday Classic
Posted: Thursday, December 30, 2004
EAU CLAIRE - The UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team won their sixth consecutive UW-Eau Claire Holiday Classic defeating Lakeland College 64-46 here tonight at Zorn Arena.
Defense keyed the win for the Blugolds as Lakeland was held to only 38.8 percent shooting for the game. The Muskies scored 95 points on 56.9 percent shooting in the semifinals including 12 three pointers. Eau Claire held Lakeland to only 2 of 12 shooting behind the arc tonight.
Eau Claire started the game on a 10-2 run and never trailed after that. After the Muskies closed the lead to five at 14-9 the Blugolds went on a 9-2 run to open the lead the lead up to 23-11.
Lakeland trimmed the lead to eight with 11:14 left in the game but the Blugolds would not let the Muskies get any closer. A Buck Smith (Jr.-Superior) lay-up pushed the lead back up to double digits where it was kept the rest of the game.
Smith and Will Jefferson (Sr.-Wausau/East) shared game-high honors in points for Eau Claire with 15 each. Casey Drake (Sr.-Rhinelander) added 14 points.
Kale Proksch (Jr.-Chaseburg/Westby) pulled down a game-high 13 boards while Jesse Breidenbach (Sr.-Oregon) stepped in for the ill Dan Archambault (Sr.-Oshkosh/West) and had a game-high five assists.
The Blugolds controlled the paint throughout outrebounding Lakeland 39-26 including 15 boards on the offensive end. Eau Claire also had 42 points in the paint compared to Lakeland's 26.
Drake was named the Tournament MVP scoring 41 points and pulling down 11 boards. Jefferson was named to the All-Tournament Team scoring 22 points, pulling down seven rebounds and handing out five assists.
Smith earned the Fireman Award for play off the bench scoring 21 points and pulling down 14 rebounds. Proksch earned the King of the Boards Award leading the tournament with 16 rebounds. Breidenbach earned the Playmaker Award with a tournament-high eight assists to go along with the Hustle Award.
St. Olaf's Jon Bain, Luther's Tony Brantner and Lakeland's Nick Zeck and Germayne James were also named to the All-Tournament Team.
Eau Claire improves to 8-3 on the season with the win.
The Blugolds will be in action next when they travel to Duluth, Minn. to play against the College of St. Scholastica Tuesday. The game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.
- JL -