The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Men’s basketball breaks out of slump

    After suffering a four-game WIAC losing streak, the Blugolds rebounded with a 78-50 breakout win against the St. Mary’s Cardinals in Winona, Minn., Saturday.

    Sophomore Dan Archambault led the ‘Golds in scoring, dropping 14 points on 5 of 9 shooting. Junior Ryan Wietor came off the bench and added 12 points, while both senior Andy Witte and sophomore Nate Beck chipped in 10 points.

    Eau Claire shot 50.9 percent throughout the game and out-muscled St. Mary’s on the boards, 40-22.

    “The win gave us more confidence in each other,” Wietor said. “I think our post players played a solid game for us around the basket.”

    Story continues below advertisement

    Coach Terry Gibbons agreed.

    “It’s fun for me,” he said. “All our players are contributing, especially our bench scoring, which has helped us win games.”

    At the start of the game, the Blugolds and Cardinals had difficulty breaking free from each other. With 10:13 left in the half, the Cardinals held a four point advantage, but the ‘Golds refused to get discouraged.

    They fought back and gained a 28-27 lead as the half concluded.

    Gibbons said that the team had difficulty breaking away from St Mary’s in the first half, but in the second half, the team picked up its defense and its intensity.

    The minute the Blugolds hit the court after halftime, they wasted no time attacking the Cardinals offensively, going on a 30-7 run.

    Eau Claire continued to show no mercy and held a 67-38 advantage with 6:26 remaining in the game.

    “We came out with a lot of intensity in the second half,” Archambault said. “That was the turning point in the game.”

    As the game clock expired, the ‘Golds had defeated the Cardinals by 28 points and held them to only 35.6 percent shooting.

    Before this game however, the Blugolds suffered something they had not dealt with since last season — a losing streak.

    Between Jan. 4 and Jan. 15, they played three ranked conference teams. They fared well against both UW-Whitewater and UW-Oshkosh, which are ranked 14th and 19th respectively. Both those games went into overtime with the ‘Golds coming up short.

    The men also lost to UW-Stevens Point, who are ranked 5th in the country according to Stevens Point are three-time defending WIAC champions.

    Gibbons said that the losing streak did not worry him.

    “We exceeded our own expectations already this year,” he said. “We played against three ranked teams in ten days.”

    Wietor added that the losing streak made the team realize that they still have a few things that need to be worked on.

    “It’s just a matter of working hard everyday in practice,” Wietor said. “Most teams go through these periods and it only makes us stronger.”

    The only loss that Gibbons said he was upset about was the one against Whitewater.

    In that game, the ‘Golds were whistled for 38 fouls compared to Whitewater’s 19, and also had three players who fouled out of the game.

    Whitewater also went to the line 67 times and made 48 free throws, which turned out to be the deciding factor in the game.

    The ‘Golds had a chance to reestablish another winning streak, but fell short against Platteville 67-62 Wednesday night at Zorn Arena. Senior Jason Larson scored a team high 17 points, with Witte adding 11. Eau Claire is 11-6 and in 6th place in the WIAC conference.

    “We had a rough year last year,” Archambault said. “This year we are a different team and we have really learned to play together.”

    The team will host UW-Stout at 5:00 p.m. Saturday at Zorn Arena.

    Leave a Comment
    More to Discover

    Comments (0)

    The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
    All The Spectator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Activate Search
    Men’s basketball breaks out of slump