By Adam Roberts – 2/4/2021
300+ days since their last contest, Kent Dernbach’s UW-La Crosse men’s basketball team didn’t need much motivation to come out swinging against UW Eau Claire.
The Eagles, by a combination of stout defense and aggressive paint play, opened their abridged 8-game schedule with a 62-43 victory over the Blugolds. Sophomore Ethan Anderson (Black River Falls) led UWL in scoring with 17 including 3 3’s in 35 minutes of action.
Overall, the Eagles led in nearly all statistical categories on a night when they would never trail. UWL had the advantage in field goal, 3-point, and free throw shooting, and also outpaced the Blugolds on the boards 39-35 and in the paint 28 points to 10. The only spot where Eau Claire had the advantage was in bench points, outscoring UWL 43-10.
The two teams rematch on Friday in Eau Claire.
Meanwhile, the Eagle women lost the lead midway through the first quarter and trailed 41-27 at halftime. That deficit would prove too large to overcome in a 76-58 defeat. Scoring was led by Austin, MN senior guard Shayley Vesel with 14 points, followed by junior Lexie Higgins with 12. Both teams face each other again Friday at Mitchell Hall.