WHITEWATER, Wis. (Blugolds.com) – There were stretches when the UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team hung with third-ranked UW-Whitewater, but in the end the Warhawks were too much for the Blugolds to handle as they fell 79-65 at Kachel Gymnasium.
Eau Claire opened the contest with a 6-0 run, holding the Warhawks scoreless for more than four minutes. Whitewater then scored six straight to tie the game, but Eau Claire never trailed for the first seven minutes of the game.
An 8-0 Whitewater run over a two-minute stretch that began at 12:31 gave Whitewater the lead and the Warhawks never trailed the rest of the night.
Whitewater continued to build its lead into double-figures during the first half but the Blugolds began chipping away at the Warhawk lead and found themselves down by just two (33-31) a minute into the second half.
Again, the Warhawks took back control of the game and found their way to a double digit lead. The closest Eau Claire could get the rest of the night was five points (57-52) with just over seven minutes remaining. Whitewater used a 14-3 run over a four minute stretch near the end to get up by 18 (78-60) before winning by 14.
Four Blugolds reached double figures in scoring with Jordan Petersen (Sr.-Strum, Wis./Eleva-Strum) leading the team with 17 points. He and two others led the Blugolds with four rebounds each.
Eau Claire led Whitewater in shooting from the field, going 25-for-53 (47.2 percent) to 22-for-60 (36.7 percent). On the boards, however, the Warhawks had a big game, leading Eau Claire 44-26. A total of 26 of the Warhawks' rebounds came on the offensive end, and Whitewater scored 31 second-chance points to 10 for the Blugolds.
The Blugolds are now 4-5 overall and 0-3 in WIAC play while Whitewater improves to 7-0 on the season and 3-0 in conference play.
Eau Claire will be at home twice next week for a WIAC game against UW-Superior on Wednesday at 7 p.m. for Youth Night followed by a contest next Saturday against Ashford University (Iowa) at 3 p.m.