Blugolds drop home opener to Tommies

Eau Claire pulls ahead early but can’t hang on to win season opener

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Photo by Anna Mateffy-The Spectator

The UW-Eau Claire men’s basketball team dropped their home opener 76-62 to No. 4 University of St. Thomas (Minn.) Saturday night at Zorn Arena.

In the first half, the Blugolds came out quickly, starting with a 7-2 lead.

However, St. Thomas kept it close during the first half, fighting back quickly. The Blugolds kept the pressure on. At 4:45 in the first, St. Thomas tied it at 26.

The Tommies took the lead, but the Blugolds were able to fight back with a layup from junior Deondre Lucas which allowed them to regain the lead after a three-pointer from senior Jacob Kohner.

Senior Tyson Kalien kept the 7-0 run going with a lay-up. However, the Tommies kept up, as they went on a 6-0 run to end the first half with a one point lead, 34-33.

In the second half, the Tommies continued to add to their lead by starting on a 10-4 run.

After two free throws from Kalien, Eau Claire only had a two-point deficit. After that, St. Thomas pulled away and outlasted the Blugolds to go and outscore them 42-29 in the second.

The Blugolds shot 11 of 22 on the night from the free throw line.

Eau Claire was led by Kohner who had 13 points, three rebounds, and an assist. Kalien and junior Jack Martinek both had 11 points each.

Eau Claire will be back in play at 5 p.m. Friday, when they take on Luther College (Iowa).