Eau Claire tops Rivers Falls in WIAC men's basketball 68-59

RIVER FALLS, Wis. (Blugolds.com) The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire men's basketball team opened Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) play on the road Wednesday night, coming home with a 68-59 win over UW-River Falls.

After trailing 30-22 at the half, a Cole Rabedeaux (Jr. – Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap) lay-up just 15 seconds into the second half got the Blugolds off to a quick start. Wilyam Wright (Sr. – Bollingbrook, IL/Plainfield East) then scored the next seven points for the Blugolds to cap a 9-2 run and force a Falcon timeout.

After trading baskets for the next few minutes, a three-pointer by Spencer Page (Fr. – Rice Lake, WI) at the 11:15 mark gave Eau Claire a 38-36 lead that the Blugolds would never surrender.

The Blugolds would finish the game shooting 44.1 percent (26-for-59) from the field compared to River Falls' 38.3 percent (23-for-60). Both squads hit only five three-point field goals, Eau Clare shooting 26.3 percent (5-for-19) and the Falcons 23.8 percent (5-for-21).

Ben Widdes (Sr. – Rice Lake, WI) led all scorers with 16 points while Wright and Rabedeaux finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Page also finished in double figures, chipping in 12 points. Widdes led the Blugolds with 10 rebounds to record his first double-double of the season while Rabedeaux tallied four of the Blugolds' 11 steals.

Eau Claire (8-4, 1-0 WIAC) will be back on the road Saturday as they travel to UW-Whitewater. Tip-off is slated for 5 p.m. Follow the action on Blugold Game Day or on the 'UWEC Blugolds' app on your mobile device.