Men’s Basketball comes up short against Stevens Point

Second round of conference brings fierce competition for the Blugolds

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Photo by Elizabeth Gosling

The Blugolds lost to the Pointers earlier in the season but have since improved their game against the 11-9 team.

In the second round of conference matchups, the UW-Eau Claire men’s basketball team fell to the UW-Stevens Point Pointers with a score of 61-54 to a large crowd of Pointer and Blugold supporters.

Scoring started quickly but was back and forth as the Blugolds and Pointers stole and turned over the ball. Josh Weix was the Blugold’s first scorer and contributed 15 points over the course of the game, which was held Saturday night in Zorn Arena.

Throughout the first half, the team holding the lead switched three times and the score was tied twice. However, the Pointers dominated the second half, never conceding the lead to the home team.

In the last minute of the second half, Ethan Bublitz of Stevens Point bumped the score up to 55-49 at the free throw line. Then, Jack Martinek made a lay-up, propelling the Blugolds three points within reach of the Pointers.

Eau Claire’s game plan was shaken up for the Blugolds afterwards when Martinek, Chris Duff, Jared Schneidermann and Weix all fouled, giving eight charity stripes to Stevens Point, with only a slim margin of time remaining in the game.

Martinek led scoring with 16 points for the Blugolds and George Diekelman contributed two assists in the matchup.

Since their first game against Stevens Point, Coach Matt Siverling said the team learned a lot about how the team plays and what their strengths and weaknesses are. Even though they lost on Saturday night, the Blugolds did improve their game, he said.

The first time the team played the Pointers, the Blugolds lost 89-69, compared to a mere seven points of difference most recently.

“I think we need to move the ball better on offense, continue to find good shots, make the other team’s defense work a little harder,” Siverling said.

Siverling said the WIAC is a competitive conference and each game the team plays is a real battle. Each team is different, and although Eau Claire won against UW-Stout just three days preceding Saturday’s game, the two games are not connected, Siverling said.

Despite the loss, some Eau Claire fans are not letting their school pride wain.

Colette Bernsteen, first-year Pre-Nursing student said the Blugolds fought hard and although she is devastated by the loss, she is still proud to be a Blugold.

Currently with a record of 15-6, the team hopes only for W’s as they push forward in the conference tournament. Their next game is Wednesday at UW-Platteville, whose team has a record of 8-13, and is currently riding a five-game losing streak.

The next home game will be held at 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11 at Zorn Arena against UW-La Crosse.