STEVENS POINT, Wis. (Blugolds.com) - Despite holding a second-half lead, the UW-Eau Claire women's basketball team couldn't hold off WIAC-leading, fourth-ranked UW-Stevens Point and fell 67-59 tonight at Berg Gym.
The Pointers, who captured at least a share of the WIAC title with the win tonight, took early control of the game, but it was short lived. A three pointer from Nicole Christianson (Jr.-Chetek, Wis.) put the Blugolds over the top 3:11 into competition. While Stevens Point regained the advantage with 7:22 left, the teams battled back and forth over the remaining minutes, and the Blugolds secured a one-point lead by the end of the half.
A pair of jumpers from Christianson and Hannah Mesick's (Sr.-Chatfield, Minn.) two successful free throws gave Eau Claire a 6-0 run to open the second. But just as quickly as the Blugolds gained the advantage, the Pointers recaptured the lead.
The teams flip-flopped the lead five times, but a jumper with 11 minutes remaining gave the Pointers the final lead of the night. Stevens Point went on a 15-4 run over the next six minutes and secured the 67-59 win.
Despite the loss, Mesick put up strong numbers, earning the double-double with 19 points and 16 rebounds. Christianson and Laura Olson (Jr.-Osseo, Wis./Osseo-Fairchild) followed with 11 and nine points, respectively.
Eau Claire actually slightly outshot the Pointers, making 40.4 percent (23-for-57) of their shots from the field compared to the Pointers' 38.5 percent (25-for-65). The Pointers were also boosted by Blugold turnovers, as Stevens Point scored 21 points off turnovers, three times more than the Eau Claire did.
The Blugolds fall to 13-9 overall and 7-6 in the WIAC. Stevens Point maintains its lead in the conference standings, improving to 20-2, 13-0.
Saturday, the Blugolds will travel to UW-Whitewater to battle the Warhawks in the second to last game of the regular season. Game time is set for 5 p.m.