By Kyle Naber, UWEC Sports Information
WHITEWATER, Wis. (Blugolds.com)- The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire fell to the No. 17 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 70-68 in overtime on Saturday night at Kachel Gymnasium.
In the first half, Eau Claire found themselves on the odd side of a 7-0 run to begin the game. Whitewater would continue to fend off the Blugolds, as they kept their lead for the entire half. By the end of the first half, the Blugolds trailed 30-22.
Eau Claire came out in the second ready to play as Jared Schneidermann (Sr. – Brooklyn Park, MN/Concordia Academy) hit a three-pointer and Jack Martinek (Sr. – New Brighton, MN/Irondale) followed with a layup.
Eau Claire would tie the game at 35 with 15:11 left to play. The Blugolds and Warhawks would continue to trade baskets as timed continued to elapse. Neither team was able to pull ahead, in a classic back and forth game.
The Blugolds would take a two-point advantage with one minute left to play following two free throws from Martinek. Whitewater would respond with a layup to tie it once again. The Warhawks would get the last possession and did not convert on the last second layup, sending the game into overtime.
In the overtime frame, the game would remain close. Whitewater was able to build a small four-point lead and Eau Claire would do everything they could to get back into it.
With just eight seconds left, George Diekelman (Jr. – Stevens Point, WI/SPASH) would hit a layup to trim the Warhawks' lead to one point. Derek Rongstad would be sent to the line for Whitewater. Rongstad would hit the first, but miss the second to give Eau Claire four seconds for one last shot but a long three would not fall for the Blugolds as the Warhawks would take the 70-68 victory.
Leading the way for Eau Claire was Josh Weix (So. – Eau Claire, WI/North) and Diekelman, who both had 14 points. Following them was Chris Duff (So. – Walker, MN) with 12 points and Schneidermann who finished with nine points and 10 rebounds, just shy of his second straight double-double.
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