Eau Claire (WQOW) -- The UW-Eau Claire basketball teams have and unenviable task ahead of them.
For the men, they must face War on 94 rival UW-Stout Thursday, before hosting UW-Stevens Point at Zorn Arena on Saturday. The Pointers and Blue Devils are the top two teams in the WIAC this season, which means UW-Eau Claire will learn a lot about itself in the next couple of days.
"Definitely it's going to test us mentally and physically because Stout is one of the best teams in the conference this year, and Point always is. So back-to-back with only a days rest, it's probably going to put us deeper into our bench, but it's going to bring out some character in our team," says senior guard Jordan Peterson.
The Blugolds kick off the tough two-game stretch Thursday at Stout. Tip off is set for 6:00 p.m.
On the women's side,UWEC spent the holidays on the road at a tournament in Ohio, where the team went 2-1. Overall, the young BLugolds are 7-6 on the season. A look a little closer at the team's opponents shows that all six of those losses have come against teams that are ranked or receiving votes in division three. Coach Tonja Englund says her team is close to realizing its potential.
"With my team, a lot of it right now isn't necessarily about who we're playing. A lot of it is us. It's our identity, it's our leadership, it's us finishing games. We're close in so many categories right now and we just need to make that push to get to be great," says Englund.
The Blugolds are also at Johnson Fieldhouse on Thursday. The women's game will start around 8:00 p.m.
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