Men’s basketball falls to UW-Eau Claire

With hopes to end their five game losing streak, the Pioneer men fall short 83-66

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville men’s basketball team lost to the UW-Eau Claire Blugolds in the Division III face-off Feb. 8 on Bo Ryan Court. The Blugolds shut down the Pioneers who were seeking a win coming off a five game losing streak. “We weren’t getting to the rim, we did have an outside game, but only two free throws the whole game is not part of what we do, credit to Eau Claire for that,” said Pioneers head coach Jeff Gard. The Pioneers struggled to shut down UW-Eau Claire’s sophomore forward Josh Weix who led the Blugolds with a game high 23 points, including six rebounds and two dunks. Although the Blugolds secured the 17-point win, the fan attendance and spirit was high for the Pioneers. “There was 333 [people] in attendance at tonight’s game. The pep and was awesome, between the music and cheering you could not ask for a better basketball game,” Lindsay Dietmeier, athletic events and communications said. Sophomore guard Robert Duax led the Pioneers with 20 points, followed by junior guard Trey Sigel with 17 points. Senior forward Cory Vaassen had a team high six rebound plus an additional four points for the Pioneers. “This group comes to practice each day and fights to get better, and it’s just a matter of gaining more confidence as we move forward,” Gard said. The fans have not lost confidence in their Pioneers, though. “The crowd spirit is high and the team is really working hard. I hope they can bring a win back to Bo Ryan Court soon,” senior business administration major Tiffany Tierney said. Looking ahead in practice for the week, Gard knows the strategy his team will take. “It all goes back to day one, building on our fundamentals when we look at a season like this,” said Gard. “The things that athletes always need to look at are wins and losses. The things that happen at a high school level, college level, are all a ripple effect to help athlete’s handle adverse situations.” The Pioneers return home on Feb. 18 at 7:00 p.m. versus UW-River Falls Falcons for senior night and are hungry for a conference win.