Blugolds Triumphant In Hardwood Battle

Andre Wallace made 7-of-8 free throws en route to a career-high 15 points
Andre Wallace made 7-of-8 free throws en route to a career-high 15 points

UW-Eau Claire used a 13-2 scoring run in the closing minutes to capture a 59-56 men's basketball win over UW-Oshkosh on Wednesday (Jan. 9) in Kolf Sports Center.

It was a tight game throughout, with the teams never separated by more than six points. The Titans held a 46-41 lead with 6:32 left before Nick Craggs started a string of nine consecutive UW-Eau Claire points with two free throws. He then hit a jump shot with 4:29 left to put the Blugolds ahead, 50-46.

UW-Oshkosh (6-9, 1-5 WIAC) had a chance to tie the score at 57 with 11 seconds left, but a three-point shot by Dylan Wurtz (Jr. • Kimberly) missed the mark. Following two free throws by UW-Eau Claire's Dustin Kalien, UW-Oshkosh's Jade Royston (Jr. • Wisconsin Dells) ended the scoring with a lay-up as time expired.

Four Blugolds reached double-figure scoring, as Craggs led the way with 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Jordan Petersen tallied 10 points and seven boards, to go with 11 points from Kalien and 10 by Lewis Mau.

Andre Wallace (Fr. • Sun Prairie) converted seven free throws and scored a career-high 15 points. He also drew three offensive fouls. Wurtz contributed 12 points and both Royston and Cory Nickel (Jr. • Waupun) nine each.

UW-Eau Claire (7-9, 1-6 WIAC) got its first two baskets of the game from beyond the three-point arc. Craggs followed with a lay-in and mid-range conversion to put his team up, 14-9.

Wallace showed off some nice moves in the paint, scoring two lay-ups as the Titans came back. Paul Volkman's (So. • Arlington Heights, Ill.) two free throws at the 3:15 mark equaled the score at 21.

Eric Effertz drained a three-point shot just before halftime to give the Blugolds a 29-26 advantage at the break. Mau then drained a three-pointer early in the second period for a 34-28 UW-Eau Claire lead.

UW-Oshkosh finally got hot from long range, using two Wurtz three-point baskets and another from Nickel to take a 41-37 lead with 11:28 to go.

The Titans made 5-of-19 three-point shots (26.3 percent) as part of their 42.9 percent overall shooting (18-42). UW-Oshkosh connected on 15 of its 20 tries at the foul line (75 percent).

UW-Eau Claire overcame 17 turnovers with 48.8 percent shooting (21-43) from the field. The Blugolds shot 41.2 percent (7-17) from the three-point area and 62.5 percent (10-16) on free throws.

UW-Oshkosh hosts UW-Stout on Saturday (Jan. 12) in Kolf Sports Center.