by Amanda Jarzynski
The men’s basketball team faced their rival, Aurora University, for the second time this season on Wednesday night. When they last met, Aurora won by just one point. This game, the Eagles dished out a little payback and beat the Spartans 79-69, putting them at the .500 mark for the first time this season.
“It’s always great to get a win against Aurora,” said Mike Woolf, Eagle’s point guard. “Every game is huge for us right now, but there is always a little extra incentive when we play them.”
Aurora was able to maintain a point lead for most of the first half. The Eagles were not able to take the lead until two minutes left in the game when John Dodson sunk a three-pointer. Aurora answered back to reclaim the lead.
With under a minute left in the first half, Kane Steger made his own three-point shot to put the Eagles up by two points going into halftime. The Eagles led the Spartans 36-34.
Starting the second half, the Eagles played more confidently against their rival. They took an early seven-point lead starting with a three-point shot from Michael Blaszczyk. BenU sustained their lead, though Aurora fought hard to try and close the scoring gap.
With under six minutes to play, Woolf sunk a three-pointer, increasing the Eagles lead to 12 points, making the score 65-53.
As the time slowly ran down, more fouls were called on both teams. Most of the points scored in the second half were scored from penalty shots.
“It’s always a really physical game when we play them, but I thought we played really hard and stayed aggressive,” said Woolf. “Those are the types of games that you want to be in as a player, and it was a big win for us.”
The Eagles finished the game with a ten point lead, 79-69. Their point leaders were Blaszczyk, 22 points, Tim McGinty, 13 points, Dodson, 13 points, and Woolf, 12 points.
The team’s next game will be played in Milwaukee, Wisconsin against the Milwaukee School of Engineering, and then they will play against Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois.
There are only five games left before the Conference Tournament.