Jan. 17, 2010

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (UWECBlugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire men's basketball team picked up a much-needed win today at Zorn Arena, defeating fourth-ranked UW-Whitewater 80-67.

Coming in to the game, the Blugolds had dropped their last two Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) contests, and had not won since Dec. 12 (83-71 over UW-Stout). The Blugolds improve to 10-5 overall and 3-4 in the conference. UW-Whitewater was undefeated in WIAC play coming in but fell to 6-1 in the league and 14-2 overall.

The win for Eau Claire marks the first time since Jan. 11, 2005 the Blugolds beat Whitewater. It was also the first time the Blugolds defeated the Warhawks in Zorn Arena since Jan. 10, 2004 when they won 80-79 in overtime.

In tonight's game, the Blugolds controlled almost every aspect. They outrebounded the Warhawks 36-33, outshot them 55.4 percent to 31.7 percent from the floor, including going 7-for-14 from three-point range to Whitewater's 5-for-19, and shot 84.6 percent from the free throw line to the Warhawks' 82.8 percent.

Whitewater had a slight edge in turnovers, committing just 11 to the Blugolds' 16. The Warhawks converted the turnovers into 20 points while the Blugolds had just 12.

The Blugolds held a lead the entire evening and were up by as much as 18 points late in the first half. The closest the Warhawks got all night was just one point early on in the game and the Blugolds were up by double-digits the majority of the first half. The Warhawks were able to close to within two points in the second half but the Blugolds were able to steadily increase their lead back to double figures.

Four Blugolds reached double figures in scoring, led by Amadou Fofana (Jr.-Appleton, Wis./West), who finished with 17. Geoff Probst (Sr.-Moose Lake, Minn.) added 13 while also leading the team in rebounding with nine. Nick Bartlett (So.-Arden Hills, Minn./Mounds View) and Marcus Ruh (Fr.-Green Bay , Wis./Bay Port) each chipped in 12 points.

The Blugolds will be back at home Wednesday for a game against UW-Stevens Point. Action will get underway at 7 p.m.