EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – With four players reaching double-figures in scoring, the UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team took down the College of St. Scholastica (Minn.) 84-70 in the Blugolds' home opener in Zorn Arena tonight.
The Blugolds, who have won three straight, outscored the Saints 50-29 in the first half. Eau Claire hit 10 three-pointers in the opening half, shooting 76.9 percent from beyond the arc. The Blugolds shot 70.8 percent (17-for-24) from the floor in the first half but cooled off in the second half, going 10-for-29 (34.5 percent). They completed the game with 15 three-pointers, two short of a school record.
St. Scholastica opened the game with the lead but the Blugolds went ahead just over a minute into the contest and never trailed the rest of the way. The teams combined for six three-pointers over the first two and a half minutes of play, four for Eau Claire and two for St. Scholastica, as the Blugolds took a six-point lead.
Eau Claire steadily built its lead throughout the first half and reached its largest lead of the night (22 points) with 30 seconds remaining before halftime.
The Saints started to chip away at the Blugolds' lead four minutes into the second half and used a 13-1 run to get within eight points, nine minutes into the half.
While Eau Claire went back up by 15 points four minutes later, St. Scholastica wouldn't give up and went on a 10-0 run to get to within five with three minutes left. But over the final three minutes, the Blugolds outscored the Saints 12-3 to win by 14.
Lewis Mau (So.-Colfax, Wis.) had a career night, finishing with a career-high 21 points and eight assists, which led the game. He also led the Blugolds with seven rebounds, two away from his career-high. Mau shot 5-for-7 from beyond the arc.
Dustin Kalien (Sr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chi-Hi) led the game with 22 points, one short of his career-best, while Jordan Petersen (Sr.-Strum, Wis./Eleva-Strum) had 13 and Nick Craggs (Sr.-Kimberly, Wis.) added 12.
Both teams protected the ball well tonight as Eau Claire had a season-low eight turnovers and the Saints finished with six.
The Blugolds are now 4-2 on the season while St. Scholastica drops to 0-5.
Saturday the Blugolds will open conference play when they host UW-La Crosse in Zorn Arena beginning at 3 p.m. The game is the first of a doubleheader and the Blugold women will take on the Eagles following the men's game.