UW-Eau Claire athletics
The UW-Eau Claire men’s basketball team opened WIAC play last night as it traveled to UW-Stevens Point in hopes of starting its conference season undefeated.
With 6:46 remaining in the second half, the Blugolds came within six points of capturing their first conference win, but a 9-2 Pointers run snapped Eau Claire’s late surge as Stevens Point went on to win 64-50.
The Blugolds shot 40.5 percent from the field and were led by Eric Effertz’s 10 -point effort. The senior point guard shot 5 of 7 from the field while dishing three assists and pulling down three rebounds.
Effetz was the lone double digit scorer for Eau Claire.
Senior Lewis Mau and junior Tyson Kalien both notched nine points.
Despite the loss last night, this past weekend, Eau Claire captured its third win of the year by defeating Hamline University (Minn.) 73-62 in Zorn Arena.
With the score tied after the first half, Hamline mounted a 10-point lead to start the second half, but junior Cavan Stackpool buried a 3-pointer that led to a 20-point run for Eau Claire that put the Blugolds up 10 with under 10 minutes left to play.
The 20-point swing proved to be too much for the Pipers to overcome as the Blugolds held on for the 11-point victory.
Kalien led all scorers with 18 points while coming off the bench, and fellow juniors Kurtis Moody and Jacob Kohner both notched 10 points.
Kalien, a St. Cloud State (Minn.) transfer, connected on four 3-pointers and added three assists while seeing 29 minutes of action.
Moody was efficient in the contest scoring on five of his seven attempts from the field, while Kohner shot 50 percent from the field despite missing all three of his attempts from deep.
Head coach Matt Siverling said Eau Claire came out sluggish in the second half prior to its 20-point run, and from that point on he thought his guys fought hard for the win.
“It was a great win heading into conference play,” Siverling said. “We still have some work to do, and we will continue to work hard in practice to get ready.”