MENOMONIE, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - The UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team held on at UW-Stout for a 67-64 victory tonight to earn the No. 4 seed in the WIAC Tournament, which begins next week.
With the win, the Blugolds gained the right to host in the first round for the WIAC Tournament. Eau Claire will face UW-River Falls at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Zorn Arena. Ticket prices are $8 for adults/UWEC faculty and staff, $6 for senior citizens and $3 for youths/college students. $10 reserved seats are also available and include a stadium chair in the reserved section. Season ticket holders - Women's Gold Pass, Men's & Women's Dual Gold Pass and All Sports Gold Pass have the first opportunity to purchase a reserved seat before game time Wednesday. Once doors open at 6 p.m. Wednesday, reserved seating is open to everyone.
Against Stout, the Blugolds had some scary moments in closing moments. With less than two minutes to play, Stout had a one-point lead. But Leah Rempert (So.-Lake Geneva, Wis./Badger) and Hannah Mesick (Sr.-Chatfield, Minn.) combined for four successful free throws, and the Blue Devils missed four straight free throws, which helped the Blugolds hold on.
Eau Claire led by as much as 13 points in the opening period and took a 12-point lead into halftime. Stout quickly began to chip away at the deficit, however, and got to within one point after eight and a half minutes following a 17-6 run.
The teams then went back and forth as the score was tied five times over the final seven minutes before the Blugolds came away with the win.
Mesick finished leading the Blugolds with 18 points but Ellen Plendl (Jr.-Chippewa Falls, Wis./McDonell) recorded a double-double, her third of the season, with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Plendl also set a school record for most blocked shots in a season after recording three tonight. She has 76 so far, beating the previous best of 73 by Arlene Meinholz from the 1993-94 season. Nicole Christianson (Jr.-Chetek, Wis.) led the game with seven assists.
The Blugolds finish the regular season with a 15-10 overall record and a 9-7 conference record. Stout wrapped up the season with a 10-15 record and 5-11 WIAC mark.