ST. BONIFACIUS, Minn. (Blugolds.com) – The UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team stopped a two-game losing streak by defeating Crown College (Minn.) 71-53 today.
During the first eight minutes of today's game, the lead changed five times while the score was tied one other time. But after Lewis Mau (So.-Colfax, Wis.) hit two free throws at 10:25, the Blugolds took a lead they wouldn't give up the rest of the way.
In the final 10 minutes of the opening half, the Blugolds outscored Crown 15-9 to take a 30-22 lead into halftime.
In the second half, the Blugolds led by double digits the final 18 minutes and the closest Crown got during that stretch was 10 points.
With just over 12 minutes remaining, Eau Claire led by 20 points (53-33) after going on an 11-2 run and while Crown closed the gap to 12 points with four minutes left, the Blugolds then used a 9-0 run to get up by 21 (67-46) with just over three minutes to play.
Over the remaining three minutes, Crown outscored the Blugolds 7-4 but Eau Claire held Crown scoreless for the final two minutes as the Blugolds won by 18.
Leading Eau Claire in scoring were Nick Craggs (Sr.-Kimberly, Wis.) and Jordan Petersen (Sr.-Strum, Wis./Eleva-Strum), who each finished with 18 points. Mau also contributed 10. Craggs and Zac Womeldorf (Sr.-Northfield, Minn.) led the Blugolds in rebounding with six apiece.
The Blugolds led the game shooting, going 24-for-53 (45.3 percent) from the field compared to 20-for-53 (37.7 percent) for Crown. Eau Claire also held the rebounding advantage 36-33 and committed fewer turnovers, 12-15. The Blugolds scored 16 points off turnovers while Crown scored seven.
Eau Claire is now 2-2 on the season while Crown falls to 1-2.
The Blugolds will be on the road again Monday at Loras College (Iowa) in Dubuque. Game time is 7 p.m.