Vikings rally comes up short at UWEC

Lawrence men's basketball action Brad Sendell
Brad Sendell, right, scored 24 points against UW-Eau Claire.

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. -- The Lawrence University men's basketball team fell behind by as many as 15 points Wednesday, but UW-Eau Claire had to hold off a Vikings rally in a 72-63 nonconference victory at Zorn Arena.

Brad Sendell scored 24 points to lead three Lawrence players in double figures. Sendell went 6-for-13 from the floor, including 2-for-5 from 3-point range, and was a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line.

Brandon Danowski added 12 points and five rebounds for the Vikings (4-2), and Mason Materna had 11 points.

Cole Rabedeaux paced the Blugolds (8-1) with 21 points, and Spencer Page added 17.

Lawrence led by as many as eight points in the first half after Danowski hit a 3-pointer to give the Vikings a 29-21 advantage. Eau Claire finished the opening half on a 15-5 run to take a 36-34 lead at the break.

The Blugolds, whose only loss on the season is a one-point defeat to a top-10 opponent, slowly pulled away to start the second half and led 53-39 with 12:45 remaining. Eau Claire pushed the lead to 15 twice, the last time on Page's jump shot with 4:20 remaining to make the score 65-50.  

Lawrence then made the next three baskets with a layup from Sawyer Schlindwein, a Sendell jump shot and a Sendell layup to cut the lead to 65-56 with 2:57 left. After a Blugolds layup, Sendell countered with a 3-pointer and added two free throws to trim the margin to 67-61 with 2:00 left.

A Lawrence turnover and two missed shots were sandwiched around a basket and free throw from Eau Claire, but Danowski made a pair of free throws with 56 seconds left to cut the lead back to 70-63. 

That's as close as Lawrence would get as the Vikings couldn't connect on a pair of 3-pointers in the final 31 seconds.