MENOMONIE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – A hard fought battle could not be won by the UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team as it fell to conference rival UW-Stout 54-46 tonight at Johnson Fieldhouse.
UW-Stout opened the game on a 10-5 run and never looked back, leading at one point by as much as 17 points. Eau Claire never held a lead the entire night and ended the first half trailing by fifteen (30-15).
In the second half, Stout once again had the opening basket of the half but Eau Claire was ready to answer back, outscoring the Blue Devils 31-24 in the half. The Blugolds got as close as three points (40-37) with just over six minutes remaining but Stout used a 14-9 run to close out the game.
The Blugolds shot a season-low 26.2 percent (16-for-61) from the field while Stout went 19-for-40 (47.5 percent). Stout also made six of their thirteen three-point shots (46.2 percent) while Eau Claire shot just 22.9 percent (8-for-35). The 35 attempts from beyond the arc tied a school record for most attempts in a single game. The Blue Devils outrebounded Eau Claire 37-30 but committed more turnovers (21-13).
Dustin Kalien (Sr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chi-Hi) led the Blugolds with 11 points, going 4-for-15 from the field and teammate Andy Kleist (Sr.-Eau Claire, Wis./North) followed with 10 of his own, shooting 3-for-5. Jordan Petersen (Sr.-Strum, Wis./Eleva-Strum) had six of the team's 30 total rebounds, leading the Blugolds. Peterson also played an integral part on the defensive end for Eau Claire picking up three charges in a row within the last seven minutes of the contest.
Eau Claire falls to 6-8 overall and 0-5 in WIAC competition while UW-Stout advances to an 11-2 season record and 4-1 in the WIAC.
UW-Eau Claire will be back in action Saturday at home against 11th-ranked UW-Stevens Point. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. in Zorn Arena.