Eau Claire (WQOW) -- With just a week left in the WIAC season, the UW-Eau Claire and UW-Stout basketball teams still have work to do.
On the men's side, UW-Eau Claire took a major hit to its playoff hopes, falling 70-54 to Stout. To get into the conference tournament, the Blugolds need to win its final two games and need UW-Superior to lose its final game. The team says its focus is on what it can control.
"Obviously now we're down to two, and we're going to have to win these next two and hope that we gets some help from those other guys in the league to get into the conference tournament. But right now we're just looking at Platteville and focusing on the next game," says head coach Matt Siverling.
"I think we see it, but we can't control it," adds senior forward Dustin Kalien. "There is nothing that we can really do, except check the box score afterwards. So we have to win ourselves."
Eau Claire hosts UW-Platteville on Wednesday before traveling to UW-Stevens Point on Saturday.
The loss for Eau Claire was a big win for Stout, who still has a chance at a first round bye in the conference tournament. Coach Eddie Andrist says his team has put itself in position for a strong finish to the regular season.
"We have Stevens Point on Wednesday, which will be an incredibly difficult game, but it's at our place. Home court advantage in the WIAC playoffs is everything. You're going to win a lot more games at home than you are on the road. That's why this was an important game for us to get in the bank," says Andrist.
On the women's side, the Blugolds and Blue Devils entered Saturday's game tied for the sixth and final playoff spot. With its 81-70 win, Eau CLiare moves a game clear of its War on 94 rivals. Saturday's win was keyed by UWEC's seniors, who combined for 35 points. That included Sarah Bingea, who topped 1,000 career points in the second half.
"I didn't think we could beat last year's senior night because it was so special and we clinched the conference. We're in a different place this year, but I feel like it was just as special. And to see Sarah get her 1,000th point at home, you couldn't have had a better way for that all to happen," says coach Tonja Englund.
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