LA CROSSE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - After trailing by 15 points with eight minutes remaining, the UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team came back to pick up its third consecutive conference win, 69-64, at UW-La Crosse.
La Crosse grabbed the lead early with a three-pointer just two minutes into the first half. But Eau Claire answered back, scoring six points before again trailing the Eagles by one with 16 minutes left to play in the half. The estimated crowd of four hundred was not disappointed as the entire half featured five ties and 14 lead changes.
The Eagles once again jumped out to an early lead in the second half with a pair of made free-throws. They then went on a 13-3 run to lead the Blugolds 57-42 with only 8:03 left to play in regulation.
But the Blugolds then made a comeback and Dustin Kalien (Sr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./Chi-Hi) put Eau Claire up 64-63 on a three pointer with 58 seconds left in the half. The Blugolds, who never trailed again after Kalien's shot, ended the game on a 19-5 run as they won by five.
Kalien finished with 14 points while teammate Lewis Mau (So.-Colfax, Wis.) added 14 points of his own as well as two blocks, two steals and four assists. Jordan Petersen (Sr.-Strum, Wis./Eleva-Strum) ended the night with 13 points and two steals. Andy Kleist (Sr.-Eau Claire, Wis./North) added 10 points for the Blugolds, who shot 46.5 percent (20-for-43) from the field to La Crosse's 24-for-49 (49 percent).
The Blugolds advance to 9-9 (3-6 WIAC) while La Crosse drop to 12-6 (5-4 WIAC).
Eau Claire will be back in action Wednesday with a 7 p.m. game at UW-Superior.