Despite what seemed to be an entirely renewed offense from UW Eau-Claire in the second half, Wartburg’s mens’s basketball team won Saturday’s game 66-55.
The Knights scored 36 points in the first half, and restricted the Blugolds to half of that, but allowed them to score 37 in the second: more than the Knights were able to score in either half.
“Well, hopefully it’s a learning situation for us in that the mental side of it is so critical,” head coach Dick Peth said. “It just seemed in the second half that in the second half we didn’t defend nearly as well, but on the other side, give Eau-Claire credit for what they did in the second half for exposing us and scoring as well as they did.”
Blugold guard, Chris Duff, lead their second half charge, ending the game with 18 points, just shy of his season average. He scored only six in the first half.
For the Knights, Sawyer Herman dominated proceedings, scoring 21 points. He landed three triples in the first half, and missed only one free-throw to end at 46% from the field. Cam Kickbush replied with three triples of his own in the second half, ending the game with eight points to his name.
George Diekelman, a forward for the Blugolds, was identified as someone who could cause a lot of problems for the Knight’s defense, and junior center Josh Gehling was proud that they managed to hold him to only three points in the game, despite coming in with an average of over 18.
“We had to shut down number 15, Diekelman, and we did really well. We did a really nice job of that,” Gehling said. “We definitely weren’t as on-edge as the first half, we weren’t trying as hard in the first half.”
Gehling felt that the Knight’s work on rebounding had improved this week, as he grabbed seven in this game and 9 during Wednesday’s game against Dubuque.
Overall, coach Peth was proud of the week’s performances, and said he looks forward to the upcoming game against Loras.
“It’s a great week when you can win two games, especially one of those being a conference road game,” Peth added.