UW-Eau Claire men’s basketball played an exhibition game against UW-Madison

The Blugolds got a chance to face the Badgers and help raise money for cancer awareness.

Mary Allessi

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Athlete-students
December 12, 2022
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Photo by Bill Hoepner

The Blugolds’ next game is against the Wartburg College Knights.

UW-Eau Claire men’s basketball team had an exhibition game against UW-Madison on Oct. 30 at the Kohl Center. 

This was an exciting exhibition game, according to Nick Hoven, UW-Eau Claire’s director of media relations and sports information. 

The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference has a deal with the Wisconsin Badgers, where they rotate every year for an exhibition game against schools in the conference,” Hoven said. “It was our team this year and in eight years, we will go back to Madison.”

Hoven said that the UW-Eau Claire team got to play one of the best basketball teams in the nation in one of the best sports centers in the nation, the Kohl Center. 

Additionally, Greg Gard, the Badger’s head coach, joined the team to host a banquet in Eau Claire to fundraise for cancer awareness. The money made from the banquet is given to local cancer research organizations. 

Matt Siverling, head men’s basketball coach said “One of the biggest highlights came at halftime when some of our local cancer foundations were presented with checks.”

The fundraiser was held at Eau Claire’s Pablo Center and the funds were given to multiple organizations, including The Chippewa Valley Free Clinic, Joshua’s Camp and Marshfield Clinic’s Mobile Mammography, according to Spencer Flaten from The Leader-Telegram

The scrimmage was a great opportunity for the team, according to Siverling. The team got the chance to play many of their players during the game, giving them the experience of facing off against the Wisconsin Badgers.

“At the start of the game, there were some nerves we needed to overcome, and that was to be expected,” Siverling said. “Once we got under control, I felt like we did some good things on both offense and defense.”

Brock Voigt, a fourth-year finance student, said that every member of the team can carry their weight and contribute quality minutes to the game.

“One of our biggest strengths is our depth,” Voigt said. “When we go in from the bench, there’s not a fall-off at all. Every guy on our team can play and deal with the adversity we face during the game”

According to Spencer Page, a fifth-year finance and economics student, the Badgers had more size and strength than the Blugolds, but the team was able to play a relatively even game towards the end of the first half and into the second. 

“I would say that our depth and conditioning are two of our team’s strengths,” Page said. “Both of those things contribute to our defense and our style of play.”

The Badgers won the scrimmage, with a final score of 76-45, but both players and Silverling unanimously agreed that the game was a great experience and they were pleased with the outcome. 

“This game made me hopeful for the future of this team,” Voigt said. “I think we have great things to come this season.”

The Blugolds’ first conference game will be held at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9 at Zorn Arena. They will be playing against Bethel University. 

Allessi can be reached at [email protected].