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Blugolds men’s basketball wins one, loses one last week

Senior guard Jordan Petersen led the UW-Eau Claire Blugolds in scoring for the ninth time this season, putting in 14 points in a 56-49 victory Jan. 31 against UW-Oshkosh at Zorn Arena.

The Blugolds, who fell to 10-12 (4-9) on the season, shot the ball a season-low 42 times as a team and beat the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference bottom-feeder Titans.

Eau Claire overcame a slow start as Oshkosh jumped out to a 15-6 lead midway through the first half. The Blugolds fought back though, and led by five going into halftime.

Head coach Matt Siverling said that Oshkosh’s defensive pressure was a key to their first half struggles.

“They came out with a lot of energy and we made some careless mistakes with the basketball,” Siverling said. “That led to some easy baskets for them and in the second half we took better care of the ball and that led to some opportunities for us.”

Turnovers continued to be an issue, one the team wants to focus in on. Petersen said the team needs to work on discipline with the basketball and to limit the amount of chances they give the opposing team.

“Turnovers, we had a lot of dumb turnovers that could have and should have been prevented,” Petersen said. “Defense has to be our staple, and it kept us in the game tonight.”

After the slow start, the Blugolds didn’t look back as they never lost the lead again, at one point going ahead of the Titans by 13 points midway through the second half.

The Blugolds shot a better percentage from three-point range than from inside the arc, as the team shot 10-21 from long distance. Senior forward Nick Craggs said that is one of the team’s strong points.

“We have a lot of shooters on the team for sure,” Craggs said. “That’s sort of our specialty. Unfortunately some games we’re not clicking on all cylinders, but tonight we did a good job at knocking them down.”

Craggs also had a crucial basket late in the game when Oshkosh trailed by only three points with just over a minute left in the game.

Craggs said Siverling drew up a great play in the timeout and sophomore guard Lewis Mau found him for the easy lay-up. The Blugolds never looked back and carried the momentum to the victory.

Oshkosh junior guard Jade Royston led the Titans with 19 points and added three steals in the loss. With the loss on Saturday to UW-Superior, Oshkosh now has a record of 6-15 (1-11).

The Blugolds traveled to River Falls Feb. 2 in another WIAC showdown and lost to UW-River Falls 76-71.

The team will host UW-Stout Saturday at 3 p.m. Feb. 9 at Zorn Arena.

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